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No Time Like the Present: What Cosmetic Century Was Like in Previous Centuries

July 11, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — jacksonvilledentalspecialistteam @ 8:27 pm
Medieval dental procedure.

Throughout history, people have always tried to make their teeth look their best, but they haven’t always had the best ways to do that. The good news is that modern dental methods are far more comfortable and sanitary than they ever have been before. If you want to feel better about today’s cosmetic dentistry, read on to learn about what we’ve left behind.

Ancient Dentistry Wasn’t Always Vegan

You might recall learning in school that George Washington had wooden teeth. You might have worried about him getting splinters. The truth is that he didn’t have to worry about that because his dentures were made of ivory. He was far from being the first guy with an elephant-tusk smile. The use of animal bone and teeth to fashion dental replacements goes back a long while. In 700 B.C., the Etruscans fashioned dentures from ivory and bone. They could even include teeth of both human and animal origin.

Animal products came into play in other cultures as well. The ancient Egyptians had a particularly brutal way of replacing teeth: They would simply hammer seashells into their gums. The ancient Romans, on the other hand, had a special formula to remove dental stains: They used their own urine as mouthwash. While the small concentration of ammonia in urine was effective at breaking up stains and whitening teeth, modern toothpaste leaves breath smelling much fresher.

Need Dental Work? Go See a Medieval Barber!

In Medieval times, a barber’s job would go beyond hair to also include surgery and dentistry. In fact, the red stripe on the barber’s traditional red and white pole originally symbolized bloodletting. Barbers would provide services like filing teeth and applying a coating to make them whiter. Unfortunately, the coat was harsh on enamel and could destroy teeth in the long run. These days, barbers usually stick to grooming while letting people who want to work with teeth get doctorates for the job.

They say that pain is the price of beauty, and that was especially true when you know that anesthesia came much too late to help anyone receiving any of the dental procedures detailed here. Modern understandings of sanitation and the body’s healing processes make today’s dentists far more effective at their jobs and pleasant to work with. In fact, you should be sure to appreciate all that human progress in person by arranging to see your dentist twice a year for routine cleaning and examination.

About the Practice

Jacksonville Dental Specialists provides the latest in dental services in Jacksonville, FL. Drs. Matthew Nawrocki and Richard Aguila and staff serve patients with skill, compassion, and courtesy while using absolutely no ivory. Unlike the dentists of earlier eras, Jacksonville Dental Specialists brings the latest in dental science and technology to give its patients their best smiles. Contact the office online or at (904) 683-4781.

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