Early Advances in Toothbrushes & Toothpaste

Where did toothbrushes and toothpaste come from?
The first toothbrushes were small sticks or twigs mashed at one end to create a broader cleaning surface. The Chinese lay claim to the first bristle toothbrush. Europe adopted the bristle brush in the 17th century, and many dentists practicing in colonial America advised their patients to use the brush. The first electric toothbrush was marketed in 1880, though the Swiss developed the first effective electric toothbrush just after World War II. It was introduced in the United States around 1960. A year later, the first cordless model was developed and proved to be popular with both consumers and dentists.

Toothpaste also saw its earliest form in ancient civilizations. Early toothpaste ingredients included powdered fruit, burnt or ground shells, talc, honey and dried flowers. Less agreeable ingredients included mice, rabbit heads, lizard livers and urine. Despite the decidedly non-minty flavor of early toothpaste, various recipes continued to appear throughout ancient history and well into the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, many of these toothpastes contained corrosive elements that dissolved tooth enamel.

Toothpaste as we know it emerged in the 1800s, with ingredients that included soap and chalk. In 1892, the first collapsible tube was marketed and reigned supreme until 1984, when the pump dispenser was introduced. In 1956, Proctor & Gamble introduced Crest brand toothpaste with fluoride.

To learn more about the history of dental advances click HERE.

What is Orofacial Pain?


Orofacial pain includes a number of clinical problems involving the chewing (masticatory) muscles or temporomandibular joint. Problems can include temporomandibular joint discomfort; muscle spasms in the head, neck and jaw; migraines, cluster or frequent headaches; or pain with the teeth, face or jaw.

You swallow approximately 2,000 times per day, which causes the upper and lower teeth to come together and push against the skull. People who have an unstable bite, missing teeth or poorly aligned teeth can have trouble because the muscles work harder to bring the teeth together, causing strain. Pain also can be caused by clenching or grinding teeth, trauma to the head and neck or poor ergonomics.

Some people may experience pain in the ears, eyes, sinuses, cheeks or side of the head. Others experience painful clicking when moving the jaw or even locking if the jaw is opened or closed.

If you are experiencing any of these types of pain, Dr Jessica and Dr Stevenson are happy to help.  Please call for an appointment today.

For more information click HERE or HERE.

Tips for Overcoming Dental Anxiety


  • Talk to Doctor Jessica or Doctor Stevenson – they can help!
  • Avoid caffeine and sugar before a dental appointment; they may make you anxious.
  • Schedule dental appointments early in the day, before you become stressed or rushed.
  • Focus on relaxing; breathe regularly and slowly during the procedure.
  • Use hand signals to inform the dentist if you are uncomfortable.

To learn more about how to overcome your dental anxiety click here.

Caring for Dentures


  • Handle dentures with great care. To avoid accidentally dropping them, stand over a folded towel or a full sink of water when handling them.
  • Brush and rinse dentures daily, but not with toothpaste. Toothpaste is abrasive and creates microscopic scratches where food and plaque can build up.
  • Clean with a denture cleaner, hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid. Household cleansers and many toothpastes may be too abrasive for dentures and should not be used.
  • Take proper care of dentures when not wearing them. Dentures need to be kept moist when not being worn so they do not dry out or lose their shape. When not worn, dentures should be placed in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water.
  • If you have any questions on how to care for your dentures we at Smith & Jackson Dental are happy to recommend the best methods for caring for your particular denture.

To read the full article & learn more about caring for your dentures click HERE.

Causes of Enamel Erosion & How to Prevent it

Close-up of female with open mouth during oral checkup at the dentist’s

What Causes Enamel Erosion?
-Excessive soft drink consumption (high levels of phosphoric and citric acids)
– Fruit drinks (some acids in fruit drinks are more erosive than battery acid)
– Dry mouth or low salivary flow (xerostomia)
– Diet high in sugar and starches
– Acid reflux disease (GERD)
– Gastrointestinal problems
– Medications (aspirin, antihistamines)
– Genetics (inherited conditions)
– Environmental factors (friction, wear and tear, stress, and corrosion)


How Can I Protect My Enamel?
– Cut down on acidic drinks and foods, like sodas, citrus fruits, and juices
– Rinse your mouth with water right after you eat or drink something acidic
– Use a straw for sodas and fruit juices so they bypass the teeth
– Finish a meal with a glass of milk or a piece of cheese (this will cancel out acids)
– Chew sugar-free gum
– Drink more water during the day if you have dry mouth
– Use a soft toothbrush

To read more about what causes tooth enamel and how to prevent it click here and here.

FREE Tooth Fairy Download



Capture and remember the memories of your child’s first few teeth with these whimsical tooth fairy receipts!

Download Includes:

  • 3 Different Color Options
  • 5 x 7″  Receipt Card
  • 2 x 3″ Money Envelope
  • 3   1.3 x 2.7″ Tags

All you need to do is print the download found below, cut it out, and adhere the envelope together. Print as many as you need, just fill in the blanks. We hope you enjoy!

Click HERE for the FREE Download.

The Facts about Amalgam Fillings

dentist-stock-1024x683What is Amalgam?  Dental amalgam has been used by dentists for more than 100 years because it lasts a long time and is less expensive than other cavity-filling materials. Amalgam (silver) fillings are made from a combination of metals that include mercury, silver, tin, and copper. It’s important to know that when combined with the other metals, it forms a safe, stable material.

Is Amalgam Safe?                                                                                                    Scientific studies affirm the safety of dental amalgam for the filling of cavities. The American Dental Association, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U. S. Food and Drug Administrationand World Health Organization all agree that based on extensive scientific evidence, dental amalgam is a safe and effective cavity-filling material. The Alzheimer’s Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Autism Society of America and National Multiple Sclerosis Society—all science-based organizations like the ADA—also say that amalgam poses no health risk.

At Smith & Jackson Family Dental your health and safety is our highest priority. Dr Stevenson and Dr Jessica offer both composite and amalgam fillings for patients and will personally help you decide which type is right for you.

Call to make an appointment today!

Continue reading “The Facts about Amalgam Fillings”

How Safe are Dental X-rays?

dental-x-rayThe Reason for X-rays                         X-rays allow your dentist to see  bones, tissue, and hidden surfaces of  your teeth that he or she can’t see with  the naked eye. Although X-rays  expose you to a small amount of  radiation the benefits greatly  outweigh the risk . Here at Smith &  Jackson Family Dental we believe  in keeping radiation down with the  ALARA principle (As Low as Reasonably Achievable).

How Much Radiation am I Getting?
While these are small amounts of exposure, radiation is cumulative over your lifetime, and should be minimized wherever possible. Four bitewing X-rays, which is what many people get in a routine exam, give about .005 millisieverts of radiation, according to the American College of Radiology. That’s about the same amount of radiation you get in a normal day from the sun.

How Often Should You Get Dental X-rays?
For patients who aren’t having problems, the need is less frequent. The guidelines according to the American Dental Association recommend children who are not at a high risk for cavities should get X-rays once every one to two years; teens who are not at high risk should get them every year and a half to three years; and adults who aren’t at high risk should get them every two to three years.


To read the full article & learn more about dental x-rays click here.