The toothbrush: its parts and how to use it correctly
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The toothbrush: its parts and how to use it correctly

Brushing your teeth is basically the simplest and best way to prevent almost all dental diseases. The first toothbrush was introduced in 3000 BC (pretty old, right?) by the Babylonians, and guess what: it’s nothing like the toothbrushes we use today. In fact, the first toothbrushes, or “chewing sticks,” were disposable because they can only be used after meals to clean dirt that has accumulated in hard-to-reach areas inside the mouth.

We will discuss in this article the different parts of the toothbrush, how to use it and how to brush your teeth correctly.

The parts of the toothbrush The toothbrush, as simple as it may seem, has gone through many patent regulations before becoming the reference for those we use commercially.

The toothbrush head The toothbrush head contains all the necessary parts to clean our teeth. Head sizes come in a variety of sizes, depending on the age of the intended user. Smaller toothbrush heads are recommended for children or tweens who have not yet had their complete permanent dentition. The medium-sized heads are intended for adolescents and adults, who have larger teeth. There are also the larger sized toothbrush heads that are used by people who prefer a general clean and also for people who have a larger scale.

The toothbrush head mainly consists of two important parts: the tongue scraper and the bristles.

The tongue scraper is a recent innovation in commercial toothbrush production. Before, there were only bristles that cleaned teeth. But toothbrush manufacturers soon received suggestions that there should also be a part of the toothbrush specifically designed to scrape dirt from the tongue. Then a patent was approved to place a tongue scraper on the back of the head (since it’s not used anyway), to facilitate a thorough mouth cleaning, since the bristles are really for cleaning teeth.

Almost every variety of toothbrush has a tongue scraper these days. The more prince a toothbrush gets, the more upgrades it has to match the effectiveness of the bristles. If you can notice, the more expensive toothbrushes have bigger brand name and marketing information related to the effectiveness of the tongue scraper.

The bristles are the most important part of the toothbrush. Because? Because they do 90% of the cleaning (the other 10% is done by the tongue scraper). The bristles are made of nylon and therefore feel soft and strong. There are two types of bristles: soft bristles and hard bristles.

Soft bristles are commercially manufactured for people who have sensitive teeth, people who wear dental braces, and also for people who have recently had oral surgery. The soft bristles make it easy to get between the teeth and gums. These soft bristles are made from a very fine and small nylon material suitable for making brushing easier and safer.

Hard-bristled toothbrushes are often cheaper than soft-bristled ones because, commercially speaking, the material is cheaper and people are often attracted to cheaper prices, especially when it comes to dental care products. Stiff bristles, while apparently more effective than soft bristles, actually rank second in performance, because they don’t reach hard-to-reach areas of teeth that soft bristles can easily penetrate.

Electric toothbrushes only use soft bristles, because the degree of oscillation, when combined with hard bristles, can lead to devastating results for your teeth.

The effectiveness of the bristles in cleaning teeth usually lasts between three and six months of continuous use. It is imperative to replace your toothbrush after the three to six month period because worn bristles do nothing and can already be full of strange, invisible bacteria that could cling to your teeth while brushing.

The handle of the toothbrush Without knowing it, the handle plays a very important role in brushing your teeth. Our grip depends on the handle of the toothbrush, which means that if the handle is not ergonomically shaped, it could cause us to use a stronger grip, hence the potential damage to our teeth from forceful brushing.

Dentists recommend toothbrushes with long, thick, rubbery, and highly flexible ergonomic handles. Oral-B and Colgate have phased out their old toothbrush models that have a thin, stiff handle.

Using a Toothbrush and How to Brush Your Teeth Properly Using a toothbrush isn’t rocket science, but you should also be aware of the potential dangers of hard brushing.

First, choose a dentist-recommended toothbrush and only buy one from a reputable brand, like Colgate or Oral-B. Depending on your dentist’s suggestions or your personal preferences, you can use a manual or electric toothbrush. And be sure to use one that has soft bristles.

Second, apply a rich, thick, pasty lather of toothpaste to the toothbrush. Don’t be too conservative with toothpaste. Make sure all the bristles have been coated with toothpaste and try to get in the habit of gargling before brushing, especially after meals.

Finally, brushing your teeth will take between two and three minutes. Don’t brush for just 15 seconds; technically, you never brushed your teeth in that short period of time. When brushing your teeth, start with short, gentle strokes on the outer surface of your upper and lower teeth in the first twenty seconds to provide a kind of warm-up exercise for your teeth and gums. You can now continue brushing the inside surface of the upper and lower teeth. Repeat until you’ve reached the two-minute marker and don’t forget to use the tongue scraper when you’re done brushing. Afterward, gargle and look in the mirror to see if you did a good job brushing your teeth.

We hope this article helps you get started on great oral hygiene. Check out our other articles on dental health.

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