A toothbrush is an oral hygiene tool used to clean the teeth, gums, and tongue. It consists of a head of tightly clustered bristles, atop of which toothpaste can be applied, mounted on a handle which facilitates the cleaning of hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. They should be used in conjunction with something to clean between the teeth where the bristles of the toothbrush cannot reach – for example floss, tape or interdental brushes.
Read important factors about toothbrushes with Pritish Kumar Halder. They are available in different bristle textures, sizes, and forms. Most dentists recommend using a soft toothbrush since hard-bristled toothbrushes can damage tooth enamel and irritate the gums
Because many common and effective ingredients in toothpaste are harmful if swallowed in large doses and instead should be spat out, the act of brushing teeth is most often done at a sink within the kitchen or bathroom, where the brush may be rinsed off afterwards to remove any debris remaining and then dried to reduce conditions ideal for germ growth (and, if it is a wooden toothbrush, mold as well).
Some toothbrushes have plant-based handles, often bamboo. However, numerous others are made of cheap plastic; such brushes constitute a significant source of pollution. Over 1 billion toothbrushes are disposed of into landfills annually in the United States alone. Bristles are commonly made of nylon (which, while not biodegradable, as plastic is, may still be recycled) or bamboo viscose.
The first bristle toothbrush resembling the modern one was found in China. Used during the Tang Dynasty (619–907), it consisted of hog bristles. The bristles were sourced from hogs living in Siberia and northern China because the colder temperatures provided firmer bristles. They were attached to a handle manufactured from bamboo or bone, forming a toothbrush.
Types of toothbrushes
It has been discovered that compared to a manual brush, the multi-directional power brush might reduce the incidence of gingivitis and plaque, when compared to regular side-to-side brushing. These brushes tend to be more costly and damaging to the environment when compared to manual toothbrushes.
The small round brush head comprises seven tufts of tightly packed soft nylon bristles, trimmed so the bristles in the center can reach deeper into small spaces. The brush handle is ergonomically designed for a firm grip, giving the control and precision necessary to clean where most other cleaning aids cannot reach. These areas include the posterior of the wisdom teeth (third molars), orthodontic structures (braces), crowded teeth, and tooth surfaces that are next to missing teeth. It can also be used to clean areas around implants, bridges, dentures and other appliances.
A chewable toothbrush is a miniature plastic molded toothbrush which can be placed inside the mouth. While not commonly used, they are useful to travelers and are sometimes available from bathroom vending machines. They are available in different flavors such as mint or bubblegum and should be disposed of after use. Other types of disposable toothbrushes include those that contain a small breakable plastic ball of toothpaste on the bristles, which can be used without water.
A musical toothbrush is a type of manual or powered toothbrush designed to make tooth brushing habit more interesting. It is more commonly introduced to children to gain their attention and positively influence their tooth brushing behaviour. The music starts while child starts brushing, it continuously plays during the brushing and it ends when the child stops brushing.
Hygiene and care
It is not recommended to share toothbrushes with others, since besides general hygienic concerns, there is a risk of transmitting diseases that are typically transmittable by blood, such as Hepatitis C.
After use, it is advisable to rinse the toothbrush with water, shake it off and let the toothbrush dry.
Adversity of toothbrushes
Teeth can be damaged by several factors including poor oral hygiene, but also by wrong oral hygiene. Especially for sensitive teeth, damage to dentin and gums can be prevented by several measures including a correct brushing technique.
It is beneficial, when using a straight bristled brush, not to scrub horizontally over the necks of teeth, not to press the brush too hard against the teeth, to choose a toothpaste that is not too abrasive, and to wait at least 30 minutes after consumption of acidic food or drinks before brushing. Harder toothbrushes reduce plaque more efficiently but are more stressful to teeth and gum; using a medium to soft brush for a longer cleaning time was rated to be the best compromise between cleaning result and gum and tooth health.