What Plaque Looks Like Up Close

bay area teeth whiteningIt’s common knowledge that you need to brush your teeth twice per day.

The reason is that it’s vital to prevent the formation of plaque, which can lead to gum disease and a variety of other ailments, both in your mouth and beyond.

Of course, there is much more to it than that, and if words won’t convince you to take that edict seriously, then perhaps the picture to your right will help.

That is plaque, up close and personal. Click it to enlarge.

I found this over at this collection of microscopic images from inside the human body. It’s worth looking through the series of beautiful (and sometimes disturbing) pictures.

One Reason Flossing Is Important

bay area dentistThere are many reasons why flossing your teeth is important, but today I’d like to focus on one particular reason above all others.

The reason to focus is that I often find that flossing is the first thing that gets set aside when people are in a hurry getting out the door in the morning, or before bed at night.

Rather than overwhelm you with a bunch of information you may similarly set aside, let me give you this simple fact:

If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 35% of your tooth surfaces.

That’s thirty-five percent, not three-point-five.

Imagine only brushing the front two thirds of your mouth, and simply leaving the back third untouched. Would you ever even consider it?

If you’re not flossing, that’s exactly what your doing, in essence.

Yes, brushing is easier and (seemingly) takes less time. But brushing is not enough. I cannot put it to you more directly than that.

When Was the Toothbrush Invented?

bay area dentistThe history of the toothbrush has always been inexact at best. It’s easy to imagine similar tools being developed independent of each other all around the world, being that they filled a common need.

The closest relative to the modern toothbrush probably comes from China, according to most sources.

It’s difficult to locate authoratative sources, however notes a bristly hair toothbrush in a Chinese encyclopedia of 1498, and sometimes in the seventeenth century these were brought to Europe by traders. The bristles were taken from hogs, and later horses and badgers.

This is how the item was described:

A “chew stick” or siwak was a thin branch of fibrous wood with a frayed end, usually fashioned from aromatic trees to freshen the mouth, as well as cleaning it. Some toothpicks were made from porcupine quills, bird feathers, or wooden thorns.

As to the modern version of the toothbrush, this came to be in the mid/late-1800s, with the first patent issued in the United States in 1857. Mass production for commercial sale didn’t come until later, in 1885.

Nylon bristles were introduced by Dupont in 1938. The toothbrush as we know it today is a relatively young invention, it turns out…!

Which US Cities Have the Best Teeth?

Arbitrary lists on the internet are always a bit dubious in their accuracy, but also make for a good read here and there.

One I found myself looking at was this one from Men’s Health ranking the cities with the best teeth, among other dental stats.

Here are the overall rankings:

1) Madison, WI
2) Nashville, TN
3) Raleigh, NC
4) St. Paul, MN
5) Aurora, CO
6) Charlotte, NC
7) Yonkers, NY
8) Grand Rapids, MI
9) Fargo, ND
10) Minneapolis, MN

It’s an interesting set of lists overall – Fremont, CA has the most households using floss, for example.

Madison, WI also ranks #1 for the lowest number of teeth extractions. (That’s the official term for what most call ‘pulled teeth’.)

By the way, the city with the worst teeth?

Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

On neither list was Pleasanton, California. If you need a good dentist in Pleasanton, please visit call for an appointment.

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