Add your Toothbrush to your Toolbox


The toothbrush was invented more than 500 years ago by the Chinese, but Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman hope your toothbrush is not that old.  (If you are in the Denver, CO area, stop by Periodontal Associates for a free one!) When created, the toothbrush was meant to be used as a great tool for preventing gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath while keeping your smile bright and beautiful. However, two spacewalking astronauts found another use for it. On September 5, 2012, these space cadets used a spare toothbrush to replace a stuck bolt that was preventing them from fixing a power unit.

Sunita Williams and Akijiki Hoshide, both NASA space flyers, spent almost 6.5 hours outside their spaceship in order to install a pair of bolts that had caused problems for the pair previously.  However, these space discoverers did not have normal tools on hand; instead they were armed with wire cleaner and a toothbrush.

The astronauts were unable to fix the power unit during an earlier attempt, on August 30th, but they were unable to finish the job when a particular bolt was stubborn and unable to cooperate.  Therefore, the NASA space team was forced to get creative.

The toothbrush was used to lubricate the inside of the bolt while the bent wire cleared debris.

“We knew that we had particles down inside the socket, so they came outside with yet another tool that was developed by the ground team,” Johnson told reporters in a post-spacewalk news briefing.

The flight director, Ed Van Cise, then said, “The inventive ideas that led to today’s spacewalk success demonstrates how well the teams on the ground and in orbit work today, and shows the dedication of those involved in the agency’s space station program.”  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman like to think it just proves how important and innovation the toothbrush is!

At Periodontal Associates, we suggest you use your toothbrush often.  In fact, we want you to brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste. Here are a few more tips to know when it comes to your brush:

  1. Place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.(Yes, do not forget the gums!)
  2. Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
  3. Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth.
  4. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.

If you are confused on which brush is best for you or how to use it, please call Periodontal Associates.  Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman would be happy to give you a proper demonstration! We are happy to help as we are located in the Denver metro area, specifically Aurora, CO.  Our clients live state wide and from kids to grandparents.  Whatever your needs, dental implants or just a brushing presentation, we look forward to seeing you soon!