Technology, Tools and Toothbrushes?

Technology, Tools and Toothbrushes?

I’ve always used a manual toothbrush. I purchased battery operated toothbrushes for my sons when I thought they were old enough. It wasn’t until our son, the dental student, bought me an Oral B sonic toothbrush for my birthday, that I really tried one. This toothbrush is the perfect tool for a techie. The toothbrush tells me if I brush too hard (it slows down and stops), it has a wireless device with a timer and indicates which quadrant of the mouth to be brushing, and then a smiley face when I pass the 2 minutes mark. I love that smiley face!

A variety oforal hygiene measures have been used since before recorded history. This has been verified by various excavations done all over the world, in whichchewsticks, treetwigs, birdfeathers, animalbones andporcupine quills were recovered. The first toothbrush recorded in history was made in 3000 B.C., a twig with a frayed end called a chewstick.

The first successful electric toothbrush, the Broxodent, was conceived in Switzerland in 1954 by Dr. Philippe-Guy Woog. Woog's electric toothbrushes were originally manufactured in Switzerland (later in France) for Broxo S.A. The first clinical study showing its superiority over manual brushing was published by Pr. Arthur Jean Held in Geneva in 1956.

The question I had as I reflected upon this use of technology, this tool, “Why did it take so long for me to move to an electronic toothbrush?” Normally, I am willing to try new technologies, I am usually a first adopter. Did my dentist or hygienist ever promote one over the other? Not that I remember? Did my circle of friends extol the efficiency and benefits of using an electric toothbrush? Am I only willing to try techie tools when it suits me?

This environmental fact alone, will help my decision making in the future. The environmental impact of toothbrushes in the USA alone is staggering.While each brush is a small source of pollution, toothbrushes make up 50 million pounds of plastics discarded in landfill per year (in the USA alone). The fact that my son, a dental student, gave this as a gift will keep me using this and learning.

As I think on this, I will use my transition to an electronic toothbrush as an example when I continue with my professional development workshops for staff and when working with students. We do things a certain way because we have always done it that way. We change when we have compelling reasons to change. Usually our networks, mentors, teachers, students, family and friends provide opportunities for us to allow change. Remind me to tell you about my iRobot, Wally, and what a difference he has made in our lives.

Oral B

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