Toothbrush, read more...
Floss , read more...
The Pierre Dental clinic offers Crest Professional Whitestrips, Bleaching Gels and can also make Custom Bleaching Trays. Prescription Fluoride Toothpaste is also available. These products are sold at cost to our patients.
A variety of oral hygiene measures have been used since before recorded
history. This has been verified by various excavations done all over the
world, in which chewsticks, tree twigs, bird feathers, animal bones and
porcupine quills were recovered. The first toothbrush recorded in history
was made in 3000 B.C., a twig with a frayed end called a chewstick.
Many people have used some form of toothbrushes through the ages. Indian medicine (Ayurveda) has used the twigs of the neem or banyan tree to make toothbrushes and other oral-hygiene-related products for millennia. The end of a neem twig is chewed until it is soft and splayed, and it is then used to brush the teeth. In the Muslim world chewing miswak, or siwak, the roots or twigs of the Arak tree (Salvadora persica), which have antiseptic properties, is common practice. The usage of miswak dates back at least to the time of the Prophet Mohamed, who pioneered its use (check "miswak" for reference). Rubbing baking soda or chalk against the teeth has also been common practice in history.
Japanese Zen master Dōgen Kigen recorded on Shōbōgenzō that he saw monks clean their teeth with a brush in China in 1223 with brushes made of horse-tail hairs attached to an ox-bone handle.
The earliest identified use of the word toothbrush in English was in the autobiography of Anthony Wood, who wrote in 1690 that he had bough a toothbrush off J. Barret.
William Addis of England is believed to have produced the first mass-produced toothbrush in 1780. In 1770 he had been jailed for causing a riot; while in prison he decided that the method used to clean teeth ? at the time rubbing a rag with soot and salt on the teeth ? could be improved, so he took a small animal bone, drilled small holes in it, obtained some bristles from a guard, tied them in tufts, passed the tufts through the holes on the bone, and glued them. He soon became very wealthy. He died in 1808, and left the business to his eldest son, also called William; the company continues to this day. By 1840 toothbrushes were being mass-produced in England, France, Germany, and Japan. Pig bristle was used for cheaper toothbrushes, and badger hair for the more expensive ones.
The first patent for a toothbrush was by H. N. Wadsworth in 1857 (US Patent No. 18,653) in the United States, but mass production in the USA only started in 1885. The rather advanced design had a bone handle with holes bored into it for the Siberian boar hair bristles. Animal bristle was not an ideal material as it retains bacteria and does not dry well, and the bristles often fell out. In the the USA brushing teeth did not become routine until after World War II, when American soldiers had to clean their teeth daily.
Natural animal bristles were replaced by synthetic fibers, usually nylon, by DuPont in 1938. The first nylon bristle toothbrush, made with nylon yarn, went on sale on February 24, 1938. The first electric toothbrush, the Broxodent, was invented in Switzerland in 1954.
In January 2003 the toothbrush was selected as the number one invention Americans could not live without according to the Lemelson-MIT Invention Index.
Dental floss is either a bundle of thin nylon filaments or a plastic (Teflon or polyethylene) ribbon used to remove food and dental plaque from teeth. The floss is gently inserted between the teeth and scraped along the teeth sides, especially close to the gums. Dental floss may be flavored or unflavored, and waxed or unwaxed. An alternative tool to achieve the same effect is the interdental brush.
Dental floss is commonly supplied in plastic dispensers that contain 10
to 50 meters of floss. After pulling out the desired amount, the floss is
pulled against a small protected blade in the dispenser to sever it.
Dental floss is held between the fingers. The floss is guided between each tooth and under the gumline to remove particles of food stuck between teeth and dento-bacterial plaque that adhere to such dental surfaces. Ideally using a C-shape, the floss is curved around a tooth and placed under the gumline, and then moved away from the gumline, the floss scrapes the side of each tooth, and can also clean the front or back of the tooth. Gently moving the floss from below the gumline to away from the gumline removes dento-bacterial plaque attached to teeth surfaces above and below the gumline. A clean section of floss can be used to clean each tooth to avoid transmitting plaque bacteria from one tooth to another.
There are many different kinds of dental floss commonly available. The most important variable is thickness. If the floss is too thick for the space between a pair of teeth then it will be difficult or impossible to get the floss down between the teeth. On the other hand, if the floss is too thin, it may be too weak and break. Different floss will suit different mouths, and even different parts of one mouth. This is because some teeth have a smaller gap between them than others. It's possible that thicker floss does a better job of scraping bacterial plaque off teeth, given that there is space enough between the teeth to use it. When a piece of hard food is tightly wedged between the teeth, one may need to switch to thinner floss, because thick floss cannot get past the food. It is possible to split some kinds of dental floss lengthwise generating a pair of thinner pieces that are much weaker but sometimes usable. This is possible because some kinds of dental floss are made of many very thin strands that are not woven together but rather run more or less in parallel. This can also be useful if the dental floss you have is too thick for you, for any other reason, and you do not have access to any other, for example when travelling in a foreign country.
Specialized plastic wands, or floss picks, have been produced to hold the floss. These may be attached to or separate from a floss dispenser. While not pinching the finger, using a wand may be awkward and also make it difficult to floss at all the angles possible with a finger. At the same time, the enhanced reach can make flossing the back teeth easier. These types of flossers may be missing the area under the gum line that needs to be flossed.
Ergonomic flossers with improved handle for better grip and swiveling floss heads allow easy access to any pair of teeth in the mouth, to the front teeth as well as to the rear teeth. Also their floss heads feature a lateral flexibility that enables improved control for the dental floss to hug the sides of the teeth and clean under the gum line without the danger of hurting the gums.
Occasional flossing and/or improper flossing can typically lead to bleeding gums. The main cause of the bleeding is inflammation of the gingival tissue due to gingivitis.
The American Dental Association advises to floss thoroughly once or more per day. While they do not make a recommendation regarding the order of brushing and flossing, flossing prior to brushing allows for fluoride from the toothpaste to reach between the teeth. Overly vigorous or incorrect flossing can result in gum tissue damage. For proper flossing, the Association advises to curve the floss against the side of the tooth in a 'C' shape, and then to wipe the tooth from under the gumline (very gently) to the tip two or three times, repeated on adjacent and subsequent teeth.