Teeth. Mouth pegs. Food mashers. We’ve all got ’em.
Your smile is the central feature of your face. Dentistry is as old as the hills with a wonderful, colourful history. Some evidence suggests it was practised as far back as 7000BC.
Did you know that the first filling was made of beeswax, and dates back 6500 years?
Here’s some more pearly white wisdom:
• Centuries ago, ‘tooth worms’ were thought to cause dental decay. Teeth were ripped out willy-nilly (often by barbers in between haircuts) as a means of curing a myriad of illnesses.
• An early dental tool was the ‘bow drill’ (shaped like a bow and arrow). It also doubled as a fire-starter and a wood chisel. Talk about multi-tasking! Another was the ‘dental pelican’ (named after a pelican’s beak). It was so effective, it often removed several teeth at once – whether you liked it or not.
• Before the invention of toothpaste, teeth were cleaned with delicious concoctions of salt and burnt eggshells (Egypt and Rome), ground chalk or brick (England), and abrasive mixtures of crushed bones and oyster shells (China and India).
• In Medieval Germany, the cure for a toothache was to kiss a donkey.
• Snails have a ribbon-like structure of chompers that looks like a tongue. But they don’t chew their food – they grind, grate and tear. Yes, that’s why your pot plants look so dishevelled in the morning.
• Unlike sharks (who have a ridiculous amount of snappers), humans only get two sets of teeth in a lifetime – so make sure you look after them!
• Evidence suggests that some illnesses (including heart disease and osteoporosis) are linked to poor oral health. Just another reason to pamper your pearly whites!
Today’s dental technology is vast and varied. Electric toothbrushes offer fabulous features such as pressure sensors (so you don’t brush too hard and damage your gums) and motivational timers (to ensure you give your teeth the attention they deserve). You can choose between sonic technology (shaped like a traditional brush head) and oscillating technology (small and dentist-inspired). Both styles are more effective at removing plaque than a manual toothbrush.
Check out the ‘FlexCare+’ from Philips (below). It features 5 cleaning modes (including ‘massage’ and ‘sensitive’) so you can personalise your brushing technique, and the charging dock features a built-in UV sanitiser which cleans and refreshes the brush’s bristles between uses.
Fast flossing facts:
• In 1994, an US prison inmate braided dental floss into a rope, scaled a wall and escaped.
• In 1991, three US prison inmates transformed dental floss into a rope ladder, using salt and pepper shakers as rungs. (Despite their creativity, they failed to escape.)
• In 2000, a member of the Sicilian Mafia escaped from his Italian prison by using dental floss to saw through the bars of his cell.
• Research indicates that electric flossers (air and water) are far more effective at removing plaque from between teeth than traditional dental floss.
Electric flossers effectively reach between teeth and below the gumline (the tight areas that bristles can’t access), and stimulate gums to promote healthy gum circulation (something that string floss simply can’t do).
The Waterpik ‘Ultra’ (below) features 6 unique flossing tips (including ‘orthodontic’ and ‘tongue cleaner’) so you can floss the way you like. It’s ideal for manoeuvring around braces and orthodontic appliances. Read my wet ‘n’ wacky review here.
Explore the whole range of dental care technology at your local Harvey Norman store; a salesperson will help you find the right device to complement your dental routine, so you can enjoy a new freshness.