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8 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Toothbrushes

8 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Toothbrushes

We have heard doctors ceaselessly telling us about the importance of brushing our teeth. And so we sincerely do that- twice a day (or more), we stick that little brush in and slather the toothpaste to every corner of the mouth.

Brushing our teeth has become second nature, but we might not have stopped to think about how essential a tool toothbrush has become in our lives in these modern times. It is one of the few things we can’t do without in our everyday life.

We rely upon the toothbrush heavily for our dental care. But, what do you really know about your toothbrush? Despite the fact that we use a toothbrush regularly, most of us probably don’t know a lot of things about our little tool that has helped us fight against various dental diseases ever since it was invented just over a couple of hundred years ago.

Below we have listed some interesting things about toothbrushes that you probably didn’t know.

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1. Ancient people used to brush their teeth with twigs; the modern toothbrushes were made of boar hairs.

The history of brushing dates back to around 4000 BC, when the Hindus of India first used twigs frayed into fibers to brush their teeth. Around 3500 BC, the Babylonians and the Egyptians used tooth-sticks to brush their teeth, fraying the end of the sticks.

The Romans and the Greeks civilizations also cleaned their teeth with twigs and leaves. The Chinese, around 1600 BC, use to chew on aromatic tree twigs to clean their teeth and freshen their breath.

In the 15th century, the Chinese invented the first natural bristle toothbrush, with the boar hairs attached to a bone or a bamboo handle. Around 1780 in England, a man named William Addis invented the first toothbrush of a modern design in prison, with a bone and pigs hair for bristles. Addis made a fortune, after getting out of prison, mass producing his invention. Up until 1938, before the invention of nylon, toothbrushes were made out of animal hairs.

2. Toothbrushes were mass produced in the US a century after they were first mass produced in England.

England saw mass productions of toothbrush around the 1780s. It was only after a century that America started producing toothbrushes. Now Americans throw away an average of 25,000 tons of toothbrushes and spend over $850 million on toothbrushes per year.

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These days only about 3.5 billion people use a toothbrush, but more than 4 billion people carry around a mobile device.

3. Electric brushes outperform manual brushes.

Toothbrushes have come a long way through the years–from swine bristle toothbrushes to the ultra-modern electric ones. The first electric toothbrush was produced by the Squibb Company in 1956 in Europe. And the first electric toothbrush in the US was Broxodent, appearing in 1960.

These days a wide range of electric brushes are available in the market, with the next level oral care offered in a broad range of prices. Dentists prefer electric toothbrushes to manual brushes since electric brushes provide more revolutions per minute, which effectively remove plaque and leftover food particles far better than the manual brushes.

Experiments have shown that the best electric toothbrushes available in the market remove 11% more plaque than manual brushes. Men simply can’t match machine as it seems.

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4. Soft bristles are better than hard bristles.

While quick logic might say that hard bristles work better on your teeth, soft bristles work better for your delicate gums. Yeah, the gums need just as much protection as your teeth do. Well, what doesn’t need protection if you think about it?

Soft bristles perform just as well for the teeth while the hard bristles might cause damage to the gums. Receding gum lines are contributed to by hard brushes.

5. Toothbrushes need to be changed often.

It’s time to change the toothbrush once it shows signs of wear. The bristles wear out or get frayed and weak, which don’t clean the teeth and the gums as effectively as the new ones do. So, brushes need to be changed every 2-3 months or as soon as the bristles start to fall off or fray out, or after an illness.

The dentists suggest changing toothbrush every 3-4 weeks if you have gum diseases. Don’t be a cheapskate and hang on to your old toothbrush for years; that might cost you later with bad oral health.

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6. Toothbrushes need to be stored away from the toilet; putting a cap on the toothbrush aids in bacteria growth.

It is suggested that toothbrushes should be kept at least 6 feet away from the toilet, just to make sure you aren’t spewing the germs from your toilet to your brush when you flush. So, flush with the lid down.

Wet bristles of the toothbrush are breeding grounds for billions of microbes. So putting a cap on a toothbrush is a bad idea since it favors the growth of microbes by providing a humid condition. Every so often, toothbrushes need to be disinfected by rinsing in antibacterial solutions. Also, brushes shouldn’t touch each other to avoid the spread of germs from one brush to another.

7. Bristles clean the tongue just as effectively as they do the teeth and the gum.

You probably don’t do it but bristles are just as effective at cleaning the tongue as they clean the teeth and the gums. So, you don’t really need any extra tools for your tongue.

8. The most popular toothbrush color is blue.

Chances are very high that the color of the toothbrush you use is blue since blue is the most popular color for toothbrushes, followed by red.

Featured photo credit: Gratisography via gratisography.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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