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Fun Facts About Early Dental Procedures

After reading these interesting facts about early dentistry, you will most likely be super grateful for how technology has advanced so you can receive modern dental care here at Wildflower Dental & Orthodontics!

  1. During the Stone Age, humans used beeswax to fill their cavities.
  2. Before the toothpaste we have become accustomed to was invented, people tried nearly anything to freshen their mouth and clean their teeth. Concoctions have included things like honey, charcoal, ashes, chalk, soap, lemon juice, iron rust, talc, ground pumice, alabaster, and coral powder.
  3. Mayans inserted seashells into their jaws as “implants” to replace lost teeth.
  4. Hesy-Ra, who lived in Egypt over 5,000 years ago, is thought to be the earliest recorded dentist.
  5. In 1498, the first toothbrush was invented in China using hog, horse, and badger hair for bristles. But before the modern toothbrush design, people would chew on tree twigs to clean their teeth. Later, rags were often used.
  6. Remains in China, thought to be around 4,000 years old, had bamboo connected to bone to replace the person’s tooth.
  7. During the Middle Ages, barbers cut hair AND performed basic dentistry services (i.e. tooth extractions).
  8. In Medieval Germany, many thought the cure for a toothache was to kiss a donkey. Hee-haw!
  9. Around the year 1700, J. Hunter successfully transplanted one human tooth to another human mouth.
  10. Paul Revere (the famous revolutionary hero that warned “The British are coming!” on his midnight ride throughout Concord, MA) took to dentistry at one point. He used his craftsman skills to create dentures for his patients from animal teeth.
  11. During the 1800s in England, those with false teeth usually ate in the privacy of their bedrooms instead of events and parties to avoid being embarrassed by their temporary teeth falling out. Many would lose their teeth or have them extracted before becoming adults, so dentures were also a common wedding gift.
  12. In 1882, the first commercial floss was manufactured by by Codman and Shurtleft.
  13. Lucy Beaman Hobbs was the first licensed female dentist in 1886. In 1917, Irene Newman became the first licensed dental hygienist.
  14. The first commercial toothbrush with nylon bristles was made in 1938.
  15. It wasn’t until after World War II that Americans began brushing their teeth every day. Soldiers were required to brush their teeth twice a day and many of them ended up passing on the habit to their families.
  16. In 1954, the first electric toothbrush was invented in Switzerland.

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