Why Do You Brush Your Teeth? 

Brushing our teeth is such an ingrained part of our culture that we simply do not question it.  We have been taught from a very young age that twice a day we need to brush our teeth to keep them healthy.  This is very much a good thing to be doing and Martin Dentist Dentures or any other reputable dentist would wholeheartedly tell you the same; but small details in life such as this can prove fascinating, as no one really asks why and no one really knows the history behind such habits.  So here are a few interesting facts about this piece of our daily routines.

brushing teethBrushing is a long established habit

There has been evidence that ancient cultures such as the Ancient Egyptians, the Romans and Ancient Greeks, to name but a few, had an awareness of the importance of brushing one’s teeth.  Archeologists have discovered evidence of crude toothbrushes made using small sticks, twigs and leaves dating back several thousand years BCE.  There has even been evidence that suggests some of these cultures would fray the ends of the sticks being used so that they had a more fibrous end that could better penetrate between the teeth.

The modern idea of brushing comes from Africa and Asia

What we consider to be brushing today was first introduced to European countries in the late 16th and 17th centuries after significant contact with the Muslim world.  In many Muslim countries within Africa and Asia, the practice was commonplace and as cultural habits began to intermix, the brushing of teeth began gathering popularity in the west.  This would continue to snowball until the late 17th century when many countries began adopting it as an officially recognised scientifically beneficial practice.

teethThe modern toothbrush was invented by a convict

This is a slightly harsh way of saying that the gentleman commonly associated with inventing the modern toothbrush, William Addis, was in prison at the time of his inspiration.  Having been locked up for involvement in a riot that took place in Spitalfields, London in 1770, Addis is said to have taken inspiration from a broom whilst sweeping the prison floor.  He reportedly then used a small animal bone that he drilled holes in to hold tufts of bristles that he managed to glue into place.  Upon his release he established a company that began mass producing toothbrushes refined from his initial design and this made him a very rich man.

Over brushing can be worse than under brushing

Failing to brush your teeth properly can cause you problems in many ways.  Not brushing your teeth enough will allow plaque and bacteria to build up in your mouth and this will eventually lead to tooth decay and gum problems.  However, if you are overzealous with your brushing, then you can do a lot of damage in a short space of time.  Aggressive brushing can damage the gums, causing sores and bleeding which in turn provide bacteria an easy entry point as well as making it painful to eat.  This is why it is essential that you adopt a sensible and consistent brushing method that will protect your teeth, not put them at greater risk.