10 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know About Toothbrushes
You know all about the importance of brushing your teeth, right? But do you know everything there is to know about your toothbrush?
Dentists tell us that we should aim to brush our teeth at least twice a day – though three times would be magical. We shove that little brush into each corner of our mouths, giving our molars a good scrubbing until we feel nice and clean again. Ah. There is nothing quite like a good tooth clean to make you feel fresh and ready to seize the day!
Brushing your teeth has become such a regular part of your life, that you probably don’t even give a second thought to how important your toothbrush actually is. Dentists recommended changing to a new one every three months, but many of us stick to the same one for well over a year until there are pretty much no bristles left.
Yet because we rely SO MUCH on our toothbrush, it seems almost odd that many of us don’t really know anything about it! If you want to become better acquainted with your mouth’s first line of defence against plaque, tartar, gum disease and bacteria, let’s take a look at 10 surprising facts you didn’t know about toothbrushes.
Toothbrushes Were Mass Produced In Britain Before Anywhere Else
Toothbrushes weren’t always mass produced. Back in the sixteenth century you couldn’t just walk into a village drug store and take your pick from their fine selection of toothbrushes.
It was in England at the end of the 18th century where mass-produced toothbrushes first hit the shelves. America followed – but not for another hundred years!
These days, Americans as a collective spend almost $850,000,000 a year on their toothbrushes, throwing away 25,000 tons of the sticks in the process. Wow!
The Most Popular Colour Is …
It’s either pink or blue, right? Pink for girls and blue for boys.
The winner is …
Which means that more men than girls own a toothbrush.
Do some of our dear readers not clean their teeth?!
On that note …
… More People Own Mobiles Than Toothbrushes
What a strange world we live in. In 2016, there are nearly 2,000,000,000 Facebook users.
Around 4,000,000,000 own a mobile device of some sort, be it a smartphone or what not.
Yet incredibly only around 3,500,000,000 own a toothbrush! Amazing!
This means that either more people care for better ways of communication using technology than they do their health, or they use alternative methods of cleaning their teeth (we dread to think what!).
Your Toothbrush Head Must Be The Right Size For Your Mouth
A few months ago, I asked my husband to buy me a new toothbrush. As it turned out, he’d never bought a toothbrush in his life!
I realised this when he returned home with a toothbrush with a head that was practically the same size as my own head! When I (tried) to clean my teeth with it, I bashed my molars so much that I ended up spitting blood.
For comfort (and less blood), you simply have to choose a toothbrush that fits for your mouth. If you’ve got a tiny mouth, don’t be afraid to buy a kids’ toothbrush. It works just as effectively.
People Prefer Electric Brushes
I remember the first time my sister bought an electric toothbrush. I thought it was such an odd device that nobody would be able to get used to!
For me, I’ve always preferred manual toothbrushes. I just prefer having total control over my scrubbing action. You might be different – perhaps you like electric toothbrushes better? If so, you wouldn’t be alone. It turns out electric brushes outsell manual ones by a significant margin.
The first electric toothbrush was actually produced as far back as 1956. At first, it was an expensive novelty. These days, although the electric toothbrush is still not what you’d necessarily call “cheap”, it is a bigger seller than the manual brush.
Dentists actually recommend that we use electric brushes instead of manual ones, as they’re apparently more effective at removing plaque. But it all comes down to what you prefer.
Toothbrushes Double Up As Tongue Cleaners
The idea of scraping your tongue with your toothbrush might sound gross to you, but did you know that your tongue is rich in bad bacteria? Eventually, that bacteria is going to find its way down your throat and into your body
Now, that’s gross.
The Softer The Better
Some bristles are quite soft, but some are really quite hard. But which is better?
Logic would suggest that hard bristles would remove plaque and bacteria better than soft bristles from your teeth and gums. But the truth is that soft bristles are better.
Hard bristles might be tough cookies, but they can cause long-term gum damage. Which is not cool. Moreover, they can also contribute to receding gum lines.
We Spend Over 1,000 Hours Brushing Our Teeth
Imagine! The average person dedicates at least a thousand hours to cleaning their fangs. Can you believe that?
But hey. Although it might sound like a LOT of wasted time, it’s actually a thousand hours spent keeping yourself fit and healthy. It’s totally worth it.
You Should Change Your Toothbrush More Than You Are Doing
How often do you change your toothbrush? Be truthful now! Most people when asked this question say “every four months or so.” Either they’re being honest, or they want to give the right answer.
The truth is, though, that you should aim to change your brush every month. This is according to dentists anyway. Of course, we’re not all going to remember to change our toothbrush once a more. Moreover, why would we change it when the bristles are still all in place?
Aim to change your brush once every two months an you should be good. Sticking with the same brush for too long can compromise your oral health.
Been Ill? Throw Your Brush Away
When we’re ill, our germs get everywhere – including our toothbrush.
After you’ve been sick, swap your brush for a new one.
Stay happy and healthy!