Improved Oral Hygiene Has Improved Dental Health
Tooth brushing was not common in the United States until after WWII. During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s only a small percentage of people brushed their teeth.
A Low Percentage of Tooth Brushing Americans in the Early 1900s
In fact, according to Johnson & Johnson, only 7% of Americans brushed their teeth on a regular basis in 1900. That compares with about 68% of the U.S. population that brushes regularly today.
A German company developed a cream that was easier on teeth than tooth powders due to its gentler application. The cream came in a jar. However, soon after that, Johnson & Johnson was one of the first companies to produce a collapsible metal tube for tooth cream. This made brushing teeth using a cream more convenient than tooth powders.
Dental Problems Became an Issue for the Military
As sugar became more widespread in diets, dental health began deteriorating. An increasing number of people developed cavities and gum disease. For people couldn’t afford sugar, their teeth remained quite healthy. Poor dental health became a big problem for the military during WWI and WWII. More men were rejected for dental problems than flat feet. In fact, the military required a solider to have at least 12 teeth, including at least 6 molars to be admitted into the army. (Dental Standards for Military Service)
As a result, during WWII, tooth brushing became a part of service members’ daily hygiene routine. Nylon toothbrushes, developed in 1938, were another improvement that helped make brushing teeth a common practice.
Today, with the prevalence of processed foods that contain high sugar content, dentists recommend brushing teeth twice a day. Flossing is necessary at least once a day.
Are You Staying on Top of Your Dental Care?
Making time for good dental hygiene and routine checkups is vital for healthy teeth and gums. At Hutto Hippo Family Dental we can help and are glad to answer your questions. Our number is (512) 806-7740.