Here’s what you’re using every day that’s inside this essential oral care item.
In the olden days people though “tooth worms” caused cavities. They had a lot of other misconceptions about oral care in general too!
Fortunately now we have a lot more information about what goes on inside our mouths. We know that cavities are due to bacteria in our mouths, which forms sticky plaque on our teeth – that’s why it’s important to brush and floss well, so we recommend you take at least two minutes when brushing your teeth. Two minutes a day can go a long way in tooth protection!
The toothpaste as we know it today has transformed a lot since our ancestors started oral care. For example, did you know what ancient people used to use to clean their teeth? Read on to find out!
Here’s a couple of thing we betcha you didn’t know about your toothpaste.
The idea of toothpaste started around 5000BC.
Around 5000 B.C. Egyptians are believed to have made a cream by mixing powdered ashes of oxen hooves with myrrh, burned egg shells, pumice, and water. But since there were no toothbrushes at that time, they used chew sticks to put on this dental cream.
Later, Persians added ashes from burnt shells of snails and oysters along with gypsum to improve the recipe for the tooth paste. Ancient Greeks and Romans are also known to have used toothpastes and used flavors for bad breath, apart from charcoal and bark.
People in China and India are believed to have first used tooth paste around 500 B.C. it is however not known whether these early tooth pastes were used alone or were used with rags, or with early tooth brushes such as neem tree twigs or miswak. These twigs have been used by Indians from ancient times, with neem twigs believed to have good mechanical effects.
The first instance of modern toothpaste was found in Vienna, Austria.
Though Egyptians did made some sort of paste using ashes around 5000 B.C., some believe that the world’s oldest- known toothpaste formula originated around 1,500 years before Colgate began marketing its first commercial brand in 1873. This was discovered on a piece of dusty papyrus in a museum in Vienna.
This Egyptian engraved formula written in faded black ink made of soot and gum Arabic mixed with water described it as ‘powder for white and perfect teeth’ , and when mixed with saliva in the mouth, would form a ‘ clean toothpaste’
Fluoridation is the real reason why we use toothpastes.
In 1914 for the first time in history of toothpastes, fluoride was added. The role of toothpaste have since diversified, but no matter what your individual needs are (i.e., tartar control, whitening, breath-freshening and so on), dental hygienists agree that fluoride is a must.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice daily can reduce tooth decay by as much as 40 percent. “Even in areas where there is water fluoridation, the added fluoride in toothpaste has been shown to be very beneficial,” says Caryn Loftis-Solie, RDH, president of the American Dental Hygiene Association (ADHA).
Less is more.
This is a trick by toothpaste companies to make you use more toothpaste. According to E. Jane Crocker, RHD, president of the Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association, a brush full of toothpaste won’t clean your pearly whites any better than half that amount.
Not only will that get the job done effectively (by cleaning and removing plaque, stains and food debris), you’ll also extend the life of your tube.
How you brush is more important than what you brush with.
You can buy the best toothpaste and toothbrush on the market, but if you aren’t brushing correctly you won’t see results.
Here at Pure NZ Dental, we recommend to do it properly, you need to position the brush at a 45 degree angle so that you get some of the bristles in between the tooth and the gums. Move the brush in small circles in those areas, and then continue on to the rest of the teeth.
This process should take about one to two minutes to complete. View the ADA’s step-by-step guide to brushing and flossing here.
Organic toothpastes can be just as effective as regular.
If you’re willing to spend a little more to go green, natural and organic toothpastes can be a good eco-friendly alternative to commercial brands—provided they contain fluoride.
“Natural and organic toothpastes that include fluoride in their ingredients are as effective as regular toothpastes with fluoride,” advises Dr Justin. You’ll also be avoiding artificial preservatives, sweeteners and dyes.
We hope you’ve learnt something new today about your toothpaste! Take a moment to read the print on your tube and let us know what you think!
P.S. Did you know? Toothpaste will protect your teeth better if you do not rinse after brushing. Simply spit out any extra foam and you’re good to go.