History of Dental Care - Little Known Facts

Published: 04th October 2010
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Little known fact: in ancient times, the same person that would shave you and cut your hair was also the person who would extract your diseased teeth. Yup, that’s right, the barber! Obviously dental care has come a long way since then, thank goodness.

The History of Dental Care: The First Dental Floss

Anthropological evidence shows that ancient man showed a concern for his teeth, or at least a concern for the discomfort that food lodged between the teeth can cause. Grooves on the teeth of ancient man shows that dental picks and dental floss were used even in antiquity.

The very first dental floss on record was actually created from silk. Then nylon string came along. The wax coated floss we’ve come to know and love these days came about through the Johnson and Johnson manufacturing conglomerate.

History of Dental Care: Toothpaste

The first known toothpastes in the western world contained regular soap for cleaning, and date back to the 1800s. In China, however, historians believe that toothpaste was in use in some way, shape or form as early as 500 BC. Luckily, the harsh soap was replaced some hundred years after to include emollients and baking soda as scrubbers, reducing the horrible gag reflex the soap caused.

The Colgate Company was the first manufacturer of modern toothpaste, and is still a leading producer in the field today. In fact, if you visit your local dentist, you’re likely to receive a tube of Colgate toothpaste before leaving the office.

False Teeth in the History of Dental Care

While a good set of artificial choppers is still hard to come by these days, historians say that artificial sets of teeth were carved from animal bones as early as 700 BC! We no longer have to chew with bones borrowed from animals; today’s false teeth are made from modern man-made materials that hold up well to years of munching and crunching.

Since there are probably going to be children reading this, stick to the ‘cleaner’ version of dental history – as there are a few sordid stories in its history. After all, we adults don’t like having our mouths washed out with soap either! Brush and floss!

About the Author:

Offering kids dental care in Gresham and orthodontics to families throughout the Portland metro area. Dr. Mark Mutschler and his staff will provide information on the practice, orthodontic and pediatric dental care needs.

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