June is finally here, summer is right around the corner and the 1st of the month officially kicks off Oral Health Month!
The kids might be out of school for the next few months, but continuously teaching skills about healthy oral hygiene practices can and should occur year-round — especially when sharing these practices with young kids who absorb information at a heightened level!
More than anything, leading by example is the first step in showcasing best practices for oral hygiene. Healthy habits like brushing, cleaning between your teeth, cleaning your tongue, and seeing your dentist can all greatly affect your overall oral health and can make a big difference in the health of your entire family.
A Mini History Lesson
While oral hygiene practices have improved astronomically over the course of human history, there were practices set in place thousands of years ago in the hopes of maintaining oral health. While different in design, toothbrushes were conceptualized all the way back in 3500 BC by the Babylonians and Egyptians who used split twigs to clean their teeth. The “split twigs” eventually transformed into “chewing sticks” by the Chinese in 1600 BC and eventually transitioned into the modern-day equivalent of the toothbrush by 1780 AD.
The Ancient Greeks even used pumice, talc, alabaster, and iron rust as toothpaste. Clearly, not nearly as minty-fresh as today’s popular toothpaste choices, but again, oral health has been explored for thousands of years.
With the advancement of technology, dental hygienists, nurses, and doctors have all been able to grasp a much stronger idea of how oral health practices affect our teeth and have conducted extensive research into developing practices to best maintain our smiles over the course of our lives.