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The History of Toothpaste

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Our ancestors determined that oral cleaning meant better oral and dental health dating back to 3500-3000 BC, when the Babylonians and Egyptians fashioned early forms of toothbrushes by fraying the ends of twigs. And long before the predecessor of the toothbrush was engineered, as far back as 5000 BC in ancient Greece, people were using tooth powders to practice oral hygiene. People have been thinking of dental care long before dental clinics were established.

Ancient History of Toothpastes

Recipes found for the earliest toothpastes were composed mainly of ground ox hooves, eggshells and pumice, with a little myrrh added for flavor. This was a very abrasive mixture. Fortunately tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, far harder than bone, and harder even than steel.

The predecessor of the toothbrush, usually a twig with the end frayed, added to the improvement in oral hygiene around 3500 B.C. Again it was the Egyptians who developed this innovation. The Chinese also used sticks made from aromatic trees, which helped with bad breath.

Different cultures used other abrasives as toothpastes. The Greeks and Romans, preferred using crushed oyster shells and bone for their abrasives toothpaste mixtures. They also added ground charcoal and various types of bark to sweeten their breath. The Romans were reputed to have included urine in their toothpaste. And the Chinese incorporated mint and ginseng with a pinch of salt.

Advancements in the Middle Ages

Not much in the form of improvements developed throughout the Middle Ages. A dental checkup usually consisted of emergency dental care such as pulling rotted teeth, which was considered the earliest form of oral surgery.

After the Industrial Revolution

Then came the Industrial Revolution and people began making improvements in all aspects of life, including oral hygiene. Prior to the 1800s, toothpastes were powders to which people added water to make a paste. In 1824, the first innovation in toothpaste in centuries came when a dentist named Dr. Peabody added soap to tooth powder. In the 1850s, Dr. John Harris included clay in his formula, producing a stable toothpaste. This toothpaste became popular and was sold in jars. Mass production of toothpaste didn’t begin until 1873.

In 1892, Dr. Washington Sheffield introduced toothpaste in a tube. Artists at the time were using paint that was sold in tubes, and Dr Sheffield brought this innovation to the dental industry. The spread of disease by bacteria was a concept newly understood during this time. And Dr. Sheffield rightly thought individual tubes would decrease the risk of disseminating disease causing agents.

Modern History:

The development of the toothpaste that we are familiar with today started in 1914, when fluoride was added to toothpaste, increasing its efficacy in preventing cavities. Toothpaste in collapsible tubes was being mass produced. In industrialized nations, parents were teaching their children to practice good oral hygiene by brushing both morning and night.

World War II resulted in a shortage of lead and tin, which disrupted the production of metal toothpaste tubes. As an alternative to the metal tubes, plastic tubes were developed. At the same time, the soap ingredient that had been added to toothpaste was replaced by synthetic emulsifying agents that worked much more effectively.

In the 1950s and 60s, dental care became an important focus of healthcare for the first time. The concept of a routine dental checkup was only popularized in the 1960s, if you can believe it!

With the influence of Hollywood actors and actresses and their brilliant white smiles on TV and movie screens, a trend developed of people desiring whiter teeth. In response to popular demand, the first toothpaste containing whitening agents was introduced at this time.

Modern toothpaste is more pleasant to use than it was in centuries past. But toothpaste is only part of the care our teeth need. Routine cleaning every six months can be done at Midtown Dental Clinic Saskatoon. Our clinic offers a variety of oral hygiene solutions and whitening methods to compliment your homecare oral routine. The Saskatoon dentists at Midtown Dental Clinic are capable of guiding you through all of your dental needs, including emergency oral surgery for tooth extractions. Midtown Dental also has dentists who offer expertise in general pediatric oral health. Whatever your dental concerns, the team of Saskatoon dentists at Midtown are ready help.

Call our Saskatoon dental clinic at Midtown Plaza for an appointment today.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

Oral Fixations and How they Ruin your Smile

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Health
Are Oral Fixations Something You Need to Worry About?

Many individuals can be found chewing or having something in their mouths, whether that is a toothpick, pens, one’s thumb, or a cigarette. We want to keep our mouth occupied, as it can relieve our nerves for the time being.

Remember in middle and high school when you had a big test, and when pondering over a question, you found yourself chewing on the end of your pen or pencil? You were not hungry, but you find yourself doing this peculiar behavior multiple times. It makes you feel comfortable or allows you to vent your frustration physically without causing harm to others. This is an oral fixation.

People with an oral fixation need some type of oral or mouth stimulation. As you got older, you noticed your smile isn’t the same as it used to be. The culprits are the items one puts in their mouth or activities that harm their oral health. The common form of oral fixation are chewing on pens or pencils and smoking.Read more

3 Reasons Dental Cleanings Are Essential

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When it comes to regular dental checkups, most people know that it is something they are obligated to do. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the real importance behind it.

Getting dental cleanings is not just something that we do because our parents told us to growing up. The truth is that cleanings and checkups are absolutely essential to good oral health.

Here are some of the ways in which dental cleanings can significantly impact your teeth for the better.Read more

How to Deal With a Chipped Tooth

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Although we never think that it is going to happen to us, chipping a tooth is quite common. People will often chip their teeth on hard pieces of food while playing sports or in accidents. Sometimes we have surface stress and fault lines in our teeth from clenching and grinding and simply a piece of bread can be ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’. Or we ‘mysteriously’ find a piece missing in the morning due to our unbeknownst to us neuromuscular activity. Although it may seem like a catastrophe at the time, there are a number of things that people can do to deal with a chipped tooth. Read more

Aging And Oral Health

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The great thing about advances in medicine and care means that people are living longer than ever, and also able to keep up their quality of life for a longer period of time as well. Teeth and oral health are both great examples. For example, keeping your teeth as you age not only is good for your confidence, but it also makes it easier to eat, which can be important when it comes to getting a balanced diet to match your new nutritional needs. But what goes into oral health as you age, and what can you do to preserve your teeth?

For one thing, that same healthy diet is also good for your teeth. You may not be eating junk food every day, but it’s a good idea to try to get regular amounts of calcium as well as look for food high in fiber and low and sugar. However, good oral health habits for the elderly aren’t necessarily limited to just eating and brushing well. For example, dry mouth could pose a problem, since saliva has lots of different materials that help balance bacteria in your mouth. Make sure that you are hydrated, and check to see if some of your medications may cause dry mouth. Some of the common medications that lead to dry mouth include anti-depressants and Parkinson’s medication.

Another potential issue that you may end up dealing with that you get older is receding gums. Older people are more susceptible to gum disease, and receding gums are a major reason why. As the gums recede, they expose the root surface of your teeth, which isn’t naturally protected by enamel. In addition, this added surface means that you may not be brushing in an area you need to be. The exposed roots of your teeth are a primary target for decay and plaque.

In some cases, a few basic changes in habits as you get older is enough to keep your teeth and mouth healthy. In other cases, you may need to make more extreme measures, or even find a way to replace teeth that can’t be saved. In both cases, it’s a good dentist who’s going to guide your hand to the best options. Be sure to visit the dental professionals at Midtown Dental Clinic to get regular checkups on your teeth as well as make sure that you’re in good general oral health.

Is Cosmetic Dentistry For Me?

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A lot of people may get the idea that cosmetic dentistry is exclusively for the rich and famous, but this isn’t the truth at all. The cosmetic dentistry field has grown by quite a lot in recent years, meaning that different procedures are more accessible than ever. Here’s how to decide whether or not it is a match for you.

One good thing to do when it comes to any cosmetic procedure is making sure that you have realistic expectations. For example, you can improve the appearance of your smile with a treatment, but some people think that this will instantly improve their relationships or other issues, and this isn’t realistic. However, a lot of people have practical goals for cosmetic dentistry, like a better ability to eat. After understanding your goals for the procedure, you need to think about the nature of the cosmetic dentistry you want. This will depend on your budget and needs. Here are some key options.

At the lower end of the spectrum is whitening. While this doesn’t actually restore any lost or damaged teeth, it can be used to try and help with discoloration caused by smoking, health issues, and reactions to medication. This is done by the dentist taking impressions of your teeth and creating plastic trays from them. These are then filled with a whitening solution and need to be worn for a certain amount of time depending on your teeth.

For people who are missing a few teeth, but don’t want to invest in dentures or implants (more on those later), bridges are a good option. Generally, these are made out of a combination of crowns on either side of the gap, and a false tooth or teeth in the middle. Note that bridges can never be removed, as they require permanent tooth modification.

At the high end of the spectrum are permanent dental implants. These are dental implants made in the jawbone, with a false tooth placed on top. These are among the best options for replacement teeth for eating and appearance, but also are expensive and take months to fully install. 

There are a lot of different options out there for cosmetic dentistry, so don’t feel that you’re limited when it comes to your procedure of choice. Be sure to visit the dental professionals at Midtown Dental Clinic to get regular checkups on your teeth as well as to make sure that you’re in good general oral health.

Two Peas In a Pod: Why Brushing and Flossing Come Hand-in-Hand

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Health | Gums
Two Peas In a Pod: Why Brushing and Flossing Come Hand-in-Hand

Brushing and Flossing, it’s a subject we deal with every time we go to the dentist. After a while, it begins to feel like white noise.

Sure, we all know that brushing is important, but flossing seems kind of redundant. Do we really need it? Why are both of them necessary?

In the next few paragraphs, we’ll try to break down the benefits of brushing and flossing and explain why you should be doing both. Read on to learn more.

The Weird World of Teeth

Dentistry can be potentially traced back to the ancient Egyptians, who were incredibly skilled as far as ancient doctors go. They were the first to understand that a broken bone could be set and would grow back together.

They also may have pioneered dentistry. Granted, that was a simpler time when a dental problem meant an untreated abscess or cavities from accidentally eating sand, and they couldn’t even cure that.

Let’s jump ahead a few thousand years to the mid-nineteenth century when the medical model now known as germ theory was becoming popular among the masses.

This brings us to today and the question of why flossing is important. Flossing and brushing combined help in the treatment of gingivitis, which is caused by bacteria. However, that’s not the only benefit.

It also helps to destroy other forms of plaque and bacteria, which could lead to more serious issues. In fact, your mouth can be thought of as the metaphorical canary in a coal mine.

Plaque in your mouth can potentially lead to a higher risk of heart disease, as well as mouth infections, which can spread to other areas of the body. Plus, paying close attention to your mouth can help you notice signs that might be a sign of another issue somewhere else in the body.

Brushing and Flossing

As great as toothbrushes are, they can’t do everything. Their shape is not particularly well-designed for cleaning in between teeth.

This helps to prevent bacteria from forming in the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. It may seem like a hassle now, but in the long run, it can save a lot of money on dental procedures.

Plus, it helps to cure bad breath, and can even make your teeth appear whiter by cutting away particles you wouldn’t otherwise notice.

Oral Hygiene

It may seem like your dentist is beating a dead horse every time they talk to you about the benefits of brushing and flossing, but it is true. Brushing and flossing help cut down on plaque and bacteria, which can prevent a lot of problems later on.

Additionally, brushing and flossing can also help your mouth look better and smell better.

If you want to know more about dentistry and how to keep your mouth healthy, please visit our website. Maybe you have bleeding gums but aren’t sure why. We can help. Perhaps you want to know which foods you should avoid if you want to keep your teeth healthy.

Quit the Chattering: How to Deal with Your Dental Anxiety

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Health
Quit the Chattering: How to Deal with Your Dental Anxiety

You’re eating popcorn then all of a sudden you feel it, the dreaded toothache. Instantly your palms get sweaty you may even get knots in your stomach.

Dental anxiety is more common than you would think. It’s estimated that around 80 percent of Americans have some anxiety when it comes to seeing the dentist.

Many of us have learned this fear from an early age, most likely from our first dentist appointment. Unfortunately, this isn’t a fear that we can get over by avoidance. Avoiding the dentist only makes the situation worse.

When it is time to go to the dentist, we have some tips to help you get through your appointment.

Share Your Dental Anxiety with Your Dentist

The best thing you can do is tell your dentist and the assistant, what exactly your fear or dental anxiety is about. If you are open with the staff they can help to modify things to lessen your anxiety.

Having good communication with them can be key to a tear-free dentist appointment. The different types of anxiety have different approaches to counteracting them.

Anxiety Caused by Expected Pain

This is one of the most common types of dental anxiety. Most simply because no one likes pain, and odds are if you have dental anxiety and you’re at the dentist – you may already be in pain.

Let your dentist or dental assistant know, they can give you topical numbing before the shots. Also don’t be afraid to tell them that you can still feel it if you think you can. Even if it’s in your head, it can’t hurt to give yourself the extra peace of mind.

If that doesn’t ease your mind, many dental offices can use the assistance of nitrous oxide or laughing gas that can help you relax.

Bad Experience in the Past

It seems like most people who have dental anxiety have had bad experiences in the past. Whether it was because of anxiety or the cause if it.

Bad experiences can leave you uneasy and anxious to go back to the dentist. Again, tell your dentist what happened, that way they can do their best to avoid doing what triggered you before.

Give your new dentist a chance don’t hold the new one accountable for the old one’s actions.

Not being Informed

Some people are afraid of the unknown. If you’re someone who likes to be told what they are doing every step of the way, tell them that.

If you have dental anxiety, and you’ve never had the dentist walk you though, it’s worth a try. Knowing what’s happening can help settle your anxiety. And if you don’t like it, you can always ask the dentist to stop.

You Don’t Need to be Anxious About the Dentist

Dental anxiety is so common that associate Professor Jason Armfield came up with a ‘dental anxiety scale‘ to help treat it all around the world.

The key to lowering your anxiety levels at the dentist is to stay open and communicate. Dentists understand and are more than willing to do what they can to help you feel at ease.

If you have other concerns or are looking for a dentist with experience in dental anxiety, contact us.

Oral Care: Choosing the Right Toothbrush

Dental Advice | Dental Care

When it comes to choosing the right toothbrush, it can be a bit confusing because of the many sizes, colours, and types of bristle you can choose from. Throw the electric toothbrushes into the mix, and you can surely get lost in the dental aisle. The question becomes: “Which is the right toothbrush for you?” And the answer actually depends on your unique dental needs.

 

For Sensitive Teeth

A survey done by the Academy of General Dentistry stated that one in three dentists report that brushing with too much force is the number one cause of tooth sensitivity.

 

Many people believe that by using a hard or medium-bristled toothbrush, you get cleaner teeth, but in reality, those types of bristles do more harm than good. Hard and medium-bristled brushes are known to cause bleeding or receding gums as well as worn enamel that exposes the dentin, thus leading to tooth sensitivity.

 

Keep in mind that soft-bristled toothbrushes are always the best option and that soft bristles are just as effective as the hard or medium-bristled ones.

 

For People Who Grind Their Teeth at Night

Bruxism – teeth grinding and clenching – affects 1 in 3 people. The grinding process is similar to putting over a thousand pounds of pressure on the teeth and jaw. Ongoing teeth grinding can wear one’s teeth down to nubs and it also wears away the enamel, which can lead to extreme tooth sensitivity. This is why people who are suffering from bruxism need to use an extra soft-bristled toothbrush.

 

People with Arthritis or Limited Mobility

There are people, especially the elderly and those with limited mobility, who have a hard time getting to all their teeth using a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are a better option in this case. They have bristles that rotate in one direction and can be switched and moved to the opposite direction. They are more effective in terms of cleaning the teeth or those electric toothbrushes that only spin in a single direction.

 

People with Braces

Soft-bristled electric toothbrushes are great for people who wear braces. One study which had 21 patients who have orthodontic appliances found that those patients who used electric toothbrushes had significant improvement in plaque reduction in comparison to those who used manual toothbrushes.

 

If you do not have your personal dentist yet, be sure to reach out to us today! With Midtown Dental, you can be sure that your oral health will be taken care of and all your dental concerns handled only by the best!