Toothbrushing is the one of the most widely practised oral healthcare methods, which in amalgamation with fluoridated toothpaste aids in preventing Periodontal disease as well dental caries. 

Dental caries, Periodontal disease and Oral cancer are largely affecting the Indian population. According to a survey by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 85% of the Indians are affected by Gum disease and 60% of the population is suffering from Dental Caries. Also 70% of the children in India suffer from Dental caries. So as a Country, it becomes critically important for us to work at the most simple yet the most intricate methodology to maintain proper Oral Hygiene i.e. Toothbrushing.

Let’s peek a little into the history of Toothbrush…

Mouthrinsing and Toothbrushing have been a popular habit since ages. It dates back to the Egyptician era, 3000 B.C. where the toothbrush was in its crudest form i.e. made from a bunch of twigs and leaves. There have been other cultures where chewing on a twig or root of certain trees known as “Meswaak” has been a popular practice like India. The idea behind a chewing stick is that to take the end of a stick or root, peel off the bark and chew up the portion of the stick you would use on your teeth. You then have a brush like stick to rub against your teeth, which would untimely clean any food or plaque build up. Some twigs that were used even were found to have antiseptic and anti-plaque properties. Chinese had a double-ended chewing stick, one end used to act as a toothbrush and the other end was sharpened to use as a toothpick. 

In the end of the Fifteenth century, the modern times toothbrush came into existence. In the early times, Chinese made their toothbrushes with Hog bristles arranged on Ox Bone as a toothbrush handle.   In Europe by the end of the Seventeenth century, toothbrushing became a popular and regular habit among people. Gradually with the growing popularity of the toothbrush, they had to be produced in bulk for the first time in England in 1780. The birth of the Modern Toothbrush was in 1780 in England by William Addis. He devices the toothbrush by drilling holes in the Tibia bone of sheep and pulling boar hair from it.

Toothbrushes were in common use by the end of the 19th century. Gradually by the growing demand and development of plastic, the toothbrush industry boomed by bulk manufacture of plastic toothbrushes with nylon bristles. These new plastic toothbrushes were not only more sustainable but also resulted in a drastic decrease in prices. 

Switzerland in the year 1954, developed one of the most modern developments of toothbrush i.e. Powered Toothbrush.the novel concept behind the electric toothbrush was for people with poor dexterity but gradually the world got caught with the concept of Electric toothbrushes. 

Have we ever wondered why we use a Toothbrush….????

People clean their teeth for a variety of reasons, like for freshness of breath, preventing bad breath, reducing staining and sensitivity of teeth. But technically it used to disrupt the plaque layer formation that occurs within nanoseconds. Also using various toothpaste designed for specific reasons, Chemotherapeutic agents can be delivered at the desired site to prevent caries, teeth whitening as well as reduce sensitivity. 

Another very Important question that people ask is when to brush and for what Time…

There are some critical factors that determine the effectiveness of toothbrushing. Frequency, Duration, Toothbrushing technique, Dexterity of the patient. It is important for us to increase the brushing frequency , hence further disruption of the plaque takes place. It is more advisable to brush Twice Daily but important criteria’s that backs up is brushing technique and dexterity of the individual who is brushing. Brushing helps in reduction in incidence of Periodontal as well as Dental caries. 2-3 minutes is often recommended as the appropriate time duration for manual toothbrushing. It is interesting to note that powered toothbrushes often have built-in timers (usually set at two minutes). Another critical step in Tooth brushing is Technique, as that has to be mastered by the user for increasing the efficacy of the brushing. The most commonly advised brushing technique for children is Fones’s technique and for adults is Modified Bass Technique. It is also advised to patients not to use excessive force regardless of the brushing technique as it can result in Gingival recession. It is advisable to change one’s toothbrush once it starts earring out or Fraying. It is also advisable not to rinse with a mouthwash immediately after brushing. 

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