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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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