The Best Toothbrushes

When it comes to your teeth, you should really spare no expense to ensure you are properly cleaning and maintaining your mouth. But with so many different brands and toothbrush styles, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for everyday people to find the proper toothbrush. I found a comprehensive article which breaks down some of the best toothbrushes available right now and I thought I should share some of what they found. Here is a list of 5 toothbrushes that you should consider using.

1 – Oral-B Pro SmartSeries 5000 SmartSeries with Bluetooth

This toothbrush offers five different brushing modes, including both a sensitive and massage setting. The brush head actually simulates the cleaning action of professional dentistry tools. The toothbrush even lights up when you brush your teeth too hard. This pack includes a travel case, wireless SMartGuide, family toothbrush head holder, and a small-footprint charging station.

2 – The Original Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush By Smilex

This toothbrush combines sonic and ultrasonic technology to remove food and plaque above and below the gum line. This technology promotes variation in cleaning, which thoroughly cleans the teeth and destroys potentially harmful bacteria on toothbrush bristles without using ultraviolet or other sources. Although it is the most expensive option on this list, it offers a thorough cleanser that helps to improve your oral health.

3 – Pursonic High Power Rechargeable Sonic

This toothbrush has three brushing modes, stain-fighting technology, and sonic wave technology for deep cleaning. This pack comes with 12 brush heads, so you get a great value for the price. You also get a storage base that holds up to six color-coded brush heads at a time, which means that multiple people could use this toothbrush by just swapping out the brush head.

4 – Health HP-STX Ultra High Powered Sonic

This toothbrush offers three brushing modes and a comfortable, waterproof handle. It also has a feature that automatically shuts off the brush after two minutes. THe toothbrush even activates an automatic alert when the same area is brushed for over 30 seconds. This pack includes 10 colored toothbrush heads as well making it perfect for multiple users.

5 – Philips Sonicare Essence Rechargeable Toothbrush

This toothbrush is a more cost efficient option that does an excellent job. This toothbrush does a great job for people with braces, dentures, veneers and other dental work. It offers a two-minute smartimer as well which helps to enforce the recommended brushing times. For new users, the Sonicare’s easy-start option slowly increases the toothbrushes power over the first 12 usages to help you adjust to a power toothbrush. This product includes a charger base and a soft travel case and travel cap.

 

3 Oral Hygiene Upgrades That Will Save You Money

1. Invest in an electric toothbrush.

How will it save me money at the dentist?

By investing in an electric toothbrush– which is totally worth the splurge– you’re letting technology do way more than your hand ever will. A high quality electric toothbrush will produce anywhere from 7,500 to 30,000 rotations per minute. By comparison, your wrist will average about 300 strokes in the same amount of time. It’s really a no brainer. An electric toothbrush will keep your teeth healthier and whiter for longer. Also, who wants to shell out cash to take care of cavities when a small investment can help prevent them in the first place?

 

2. Don’t ditch the straw

How will it save me money at the dentist?

Maybe you think it’s dorky, but keeping the straw is something your teeth will be sure to thank you for. Drinks like citrus juices, soda, and coffee can wear on the enamel or stain the teeth. The way to minimize this damage is by using a straw. But Temple University’s Mohammed Bassiouny, DMD, PhD, MSc tells us to place the straw towards the back of the mouth. That way, the liquid is in contact with the teeth for a shorter amount of time.

 

3. Get on a “Teeth Diet”

How will it save me money at the dentist?

No, we’re not trying to get your teeth to lose weight. But some foods are better for your pearly whites than others.  Live Science drummed up a list of 8 foods that promote healthy teeth, and I encourgae you to dig in! Suggestions included cheese, which is correlated with a drop in oral pH (acid levels); and crunchy foods like cucumbers, which disturb and loosen plaque.

 

Now Shine On, You Toothy Diamonds!

 

What Came Before the Toothbrush?

I’m sure you already brush your teeth twice daily and ensure some type of interdental cleaning (like flossing!) at least once a day, but have you ever wondered how these miracle products came to be? When you a hearty meal and realizing all sorts of plaque is stuck to the surface of your teeth, leaving them rough or gritty, there is no better feeling than waltzing to the bathroom to and brushing the dental grime away. Surely though, you weren’t the first person to do this, and neither were your parents.

chewstick close up

The bristle end of a chewstick.

The history of toothbrushes goes back a long way, and this post is the first on a few entries on the history of oral hygiene. Today, we’ll look at the direct predecessors of the toothbrush!

The chewstick, is the earliest ancestor of the modern toothbrush. The simplest definition of the device is a twig with bristles on one end that can be used to clean the teeth, and a point on the other that could be used as a toothpick. However, as we know today, bacteria can wreak all sorts of woeful oral havoc, and as such, not just any tree was used to fashion a chewstick. Often, people would try to obtain twigs from trees that had chemical properties best suited to fighting oral germs. There were many trees that could be used, but the sassafras tree, tea tree, and cinnamon are but three types that could be used.

Chewsticks were used long ago by the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, and Chinese. Their use lives on though, as they are still used by many throughout the African continent and rural areas of the Southern United States!

How to Get Whiter Teeth

Whiter teeth means good health and personal hygiene, and it is also a big confidence booster and a smile-encourager.  If you’re a serious coffee drinker, smoker, or your teeth just simply aren’t as white as you’d like them to be, there are some at-home remedies you can try to try to get the perfect shade of pearly-white.  Just be sure to speak with your dentist before you try any of these at-home remedies in order to make sure you won’t damage your teeth.

First and foremost, make sure you are brushing your teeth once in the morning and once at night, if you want you can brush your teeth after lunch, but that is at your own convenience.  You should purchase a toothpaste with tooth-whitener in it.  Arm&Hammer works really well because it has baking soda in it, which, chemically speaking, works as an amphoteric.  This means it is able to react with both acids and bases, making it great for neutralizing acids produced by bacteria in plaque.

Two Toothbrushes

Predictably, brushing your teeth is a huge (and obvious) tip.

Second, find whitening strips.  These should be approved by the ADA, American Dental Association, and should not contain chlorine dioxide.  Make sure you check the package labeling to be sure of this, because chlorine dioxide can damage your enamel.  You can usually find whitening strips at your local drugstore, and they shouldn’t cost more than $40.

Next, invest in a whitening rinse. Crest 3D Whitening Mouthwash will not only give you a visibly whiter smile in about two weeks, but it will also freshen your breath and protect your teeth against new stains.  It’s always a good idea to add a mouthwash into your daily dental hygiene routine, even if it doesn’t contain whitener in it.

Lastly, always floss.  Flossing removes any kind of build-up that will prevent your teeth from being whitened.  It removes plaque in between your teeth and helps make sure the total surface area of each tooth can be whitened.  You don’t have to floss every single day, but aim for three times a week.  Many people get lazy when it comes to flossing, but it really does help your teeth get clean and white so that you can have the smile you’ve always wanted.

For more detailed tips, please read more over at wikihow.

The Forgotten Danger of Periodontitis

We’re all too familiar with the frightening statistics that show how diseases and conditions such as heart disease and obesity are major health crises, at least in America. And when we think of the world’s health, diseases such as malaria or any number of disorders arising from nutritional deficiencies may enter the picture, too.

But did you know one of the most prevalent health conditions in the world has to do with oral health and hygiene? Yes, you read that right– severe periodontitis is ranked sixth, overall. In case you didn’t know, periodontitis is an inflammation of the periodontium. Bacteria infect not only the roots of the teeth, but surrounding gums as well, and cause symptoms such as severe bleeding and pus production. Eventually, this leads to a breakdown of the bone and tissue structures supporting the teeth.

A set of fine looking teeth

Practice good oral hygiene in order to prevent diseases like periodontitis.

The research, first published by the International and American Associations for Dental Research in a paper titled “Global Burden of Periodontitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Regression”, reveals that about 743 million people suffer from this disease. In the populations that were surveyed, the incidence of the disease had a gradual increase with age, but between age 30 and 40, there was a sharp increase. By publishing this paper, the researchers hope to bring attention to severe periodontitis and the public health issue it causes. [Read more…]

High-Acidity Drinks Part of Triple Threat

It has long been an accepted fact that acidic beverages, such as soft drinks, fruit juices and sports drinks, have the power to do damage to the health of the consumer’s teeth.  This has always been particularly accepted in the case of children, who have actively developing dental health.  But there lies a huge misconception has arisen: if the child brushes their teeth immediately after drinking the acidity beverage, the damage can be reduced.  However, according to the work of dental researchers at the University of Adelaide published in the Journal of Dentistry and summarized in Science Daily, this theory has been proven to be incorrect.

Cola in a glass

The acidity in drinks such as these can cause damage as soon as they are consumed/

In their studies, the researchers were able to demonstrate lifelong damage done by acidity to the teeth within the first thirty seconds of consumption. This research, by the way, is groundbreaking in it’s own right; this has not been able to be modeled and studied previously.  The University’s Craniofacial Biology Research Group conducted the study, an organization that is part of the Centre for Orofacial Research and Learning.  Chelsea Mann, an Honors student with the University’s School of Dentistry, headed the research, with the help of Dr Sarbin Ranjitkar, who served as the corresponding author on the paper.  They found that the erosion caused by the consumption of drinks high in acid does lead to compromised dental health, to the point that complex and extensive rehabilitation may be required.

However, the acid found in drinks is not the only issue; it serves as one part of what the researchers termed as the triple threat to dental health for children.  The acid from drinks combined with many undiagnosed issues with reflux and a habit of grinding one’s teeth at night can create serious dental problems.  Fortunately, these concerns can be prevented to some extent.  If parents monitor the number of acidity drinks their child consumes, it can cut back on reflux issues that spur on further deterioration of enamel.

What’s Best Teeth Practice?

University College London recently engaged in research to uncover the best practices for brushing teeth.  However, their findings, which were published in the British Dental Journal and were recently summarized in an article by Science Daily, were troubling.  In their research, they looked at brushing advice from toothpaste and toothbrush companies, dental textbooks and information provided by dental associations in ten countries.  The team of researchers found a wide range of recommendations on methods on brushing, particularly in how often and how long to engage in the activity.

In essence, there was no consensus between any authorities in the dental industry on how brushing should be completed. That the lack of consistency was “worrying,” according to Aubrey Sheiham, first author on the study and Emeritus Professor of Dental Public Health at UCL’s Epidemiology and Public Health department.  with such conflicting reports on how often to do so, Sheiham claims that many consumers are confused on how to best brush their teeth. She suggests that individuals brush gently, with a horizontal scrubbing motion while employing a pencil grip on the brush to prevent being overly rough.

three toothbrushes

There are conflicting reports on the best practices when brushing teeth. 

However, even with Sheiham’s suggestions, she acknowledges that some of the most complex and thorough brushing procedures offered by dental textbooks are often completely disregarded by practicing dentists.  Often, a much more simplistic method is offered—much like the suggestion she made.  But this disagreement hints at a significantly deeper problem, in Sheiham’s opinion.  She believes the only way to definitively decide on the best brushing practices would be to engage in research and experimentation.  The conflicting suggestions indicate that there is a severe disconnect between research and advice.  The easiest solution is to engage in experiments to provide some strong evidence to suggest one method over another.

Remineralization

It’s always worth reporting about leaps and bounds in different fields of medicine, and dentistry is no different. As reported by the Washington Post, researchers at King’s College in London have been working on a new method of treating minor lesions on the teeth, or cavities. Whereas older methods of treatment involves potentially painful drilling (barring the use of local anesthesia, of course), this new technology employs low frequency electrical currents. The currents are supposed to assist the “self healing process”.

Wait, “self healing”? Yes, you read that correctly. In case you didn’t know, when teeth begin to lose essential minerals, thus bringing on tooth decay, the tooth can replace those minerals with the ones that occur naturally in saliva or fluoride. It’s effective as an automatic process for what it’s worth, but for a while now researchers have been trying to figure out a way for that process to work deeper within the tooth. This technology is aiming to expedite that process.

Known as “electrically accelerated and enhanced remineralization” the new technology aims to eliminate the need for cavity fillings in the face of moderate tooth decay. Eventually, the team hopes that it will be able to assist in repairing damages caused by long term decay, too. On top of that, the technology needed for this procedure could be widely available to dentists in a number of years (the article says three). Nigel Pitts, a dentist and professor at Kings College, mentions that remineralization is no secret, and hasn’t been since the 1980’s. However, he acknowledges the challenges that came with developing a procedure that would replenish a tooth’s minerals after extensive damage had already been wrought by a cavity.

While saliva is a key component of natural remineralization, Pitts says this procedure depends on removing saliva and other tissues, leaving the tooth exposed to the introduction of replenishing minerals. Unlike fillings for cavities, remineralization is painless, costs less, and takes about the same amount of time. The greatest thing about it all, is that remineralization is a rather slow process, and the electrical current can deliver multiple weeks’ worth of  minerals in a matter of days.

With a majority of people worldwide suffering from cavities, Pitts hopes that the new process will put some people with dental fears at ease, since it’s such a painless procedure. Patient trials have been ongoing, and research is supporting the idea of this being a safe and effective procedure. However, there are tight regulations on health care in the United States, so it may be more difficult for the technology to be implemented here. However, Pitts and his team are working with international regulatory bodies to make such an introduction amenable.