Dentistry has come a long way since it began. Granted, the exact beginnings of dentistry are obscured and must have occurred before man began recording history. After all, remains that date back as far back as 7000BC included molars with evidence of dental work (near perfect holes drilled into their centers). What actually is recorded about the advancement of dentistry, however, can be pretty interesting. Since one of the most important aspects of your dental health is daily oral hygiene, your Aventura dentist Dr. Arun Garg outlines some of the more interesting hygiene products of history.
Operating on teeth was not the only method in which our ancient ancestors cared for their oral health. Evidence indicates that the ancient Babylonians cleaned their teeth and freshened their breath by chewing on tree sticks. Greece and Rome adopted this practice, as well, and sometime around 1600 BC, the Chinese made their own compact design. The Chinese “chew stick” was about the size of a pencil, with one pointed end to use as a toothpick and a softened end to act as a brush.
During the 1800s, cleaning teeth was a ritual for high society, and had to be done stylishly. It was not unusual to witness the elite picking the remains of their succulent meals from their teeth using silver or gold plated picks.
Dental File and Acid
A little known fact about dentistry is that, from the Middle Ages until approximately the 1800s, barbers performed dental work, including extractions and whitening teeth. They accomplished the latter by filing holes between a patient’s teeth and coating them with nitric acid. The corrosive acid whitened teeth, surely, but also dissolved the enamel and led to tooth decay or worse.
Tooth Care Today
Luckily, advances in dentistry have vastly improved these primitive tools, vane encumbrances, and failed attempts at cosmetic dentistry. The modern toothbrush has advanced enough that brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once can help prevent the formation of tooth decay and gum disease. Visiting your dentist, instead of your barber, every six months will help you maintain a healthy and strong smile. For more information about modern dental health, contact your Aventura dentist at the Center for Complete Dentistry by calling 305-935-4991, or visit our website to schedule your appointment online. Located in the 33180 area, we proudly serve patients from Aventura, Highland Lakes, North Miami Beach, and the surrounding communities.