Strange Dental Tidbits
From historical toothpastes to strange traditions, human teeth have undergone some strange things.
For the purpose of appreciating modern dentistry and learning fun facts to impress your friends with,
here are some strange facts about dentistry (both historical and modern) that should brighten your day.
The First Brushes and Pastes
For centuries people have been trying to take care of their teeth. Of course, the ancient Egyptians and
Chinese didn’t have our fancy, colorful synthetic toothbrushes and nice minty-fresh toothpaste.
Back in the good ol’ days, they used twigs (some cultures cleverly used those with antibacterial
properties – and still do to this day) or primitive boar bristles and bamboo. The brushes, most of us
today could at least imagine using.
The toothpastes, on the other hand, are
nauseating to think about. Made from all
sorts of combinations of ash, burnt
eggshells, crushed bone, and other equally
gruesome ingredients that would make
most of us vomit, the toothpastes were –
well, at least a step in the right direction.
Equally as primitive as the brushes and
pastes were the toothache remedies.
Considering how poor dental hygiene was back then, it’s not a surprise that toothaches were common
and that people would do anything to relieve the pain.
All sorts of strange traditions emerged including exchanging spit with frogs, drilling your teeth with rusty
nails, and complicated medical remedies. Fortunately, we have moved beyond that. Thank you aspirin!
Before the dental profession developed into a real “thing” – who did you turn to when you had a serious
tooth problem? Well, someone who had tools that would work. That meant blacksmiths and barbers.
Can you imagine a blacksmith or a barber sticking their tools into your mouth? It’s an appalling idea.
Be grateful that you can turn to Dentist McPherson to handle all your teeth in a clean, professional, and
virtually pain-free manner.
Dolls were not the first target of bedazzling jewels. The ancient Mayans would drill small holes into
teeth and implant jewels – supposedly to make people look better – or at least richer.
If you stop to think about it, the jeweled teeth are very telling of how skilled ancient Mayan dentistry
was. It takes skill to implant jewels in teeth without cracking or seriously damaging the host teeth.
Even in today’s world – there are many areas that have not yet caught on to proper dental hygiene
practices. Even in the American Appalachians, some poor isolated communities have adopted Mountain
Dew as their beverage of choice.
Their constant consumption of this sugary, acidic, and addictive drink has led to extreme tooth decay in
people of all ages. This phenomenon is known as, “Mountain Dew Mouth.” Probably not the best
advertising for Mountain Dew.
As fun and random as some of these dental tidbits are, we can walk away grateful for modern dentistry.
No ash and bone toothpaste, no blacksmiths yanking out our teeth, and no rusty nails digging into our
teeth to relieve pain.
Brush and floss regularly and enjoy a beautiful mouth of shiny, white teeth – bedazzled-free!