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Dentistry Throughout the Ages: A Worm, A Queen & A Barber Pole

Much of the history of dentistry is pretty intriguing. From the first recorded ‘doctor of the tooth’, Hesy-Re, an Egyptian who lived around 2600 BC; to the father of modern dentistry, Pierre Fauchard, who, in 1728, was the first to apply a jeweler’s enamel over a thin gold plate, to Aristotle, the famous philosopher, who wrote of an ancient form of braces to straighten teeth.

Fun facts from this fascinating dental history – here are a few more:Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 3.01.06 PM

Due to a popular and ancient myth, Queen Elizabeth believed in something called a ‘dental worm’ that burrowed into teeth and caused sharp pain. To combat this ‘worm” she consumed copious amounts of sugar! She was known to have discolored teeth!

During the Tang Dynasty, the first bristle toothbrush was invented in China and was made from stiff hogs hair!

The earliest known example of dental implants is the Maya Civilization. They used sea shells to replace teeth. (implants placed into the bone or, in this case, the mandible).

From the 5th to the 15th century you could have your dental work done by your barber! ‘Barber-surgeons’ could give you the latest style and pull a few teeth while your hair was drying! This combination profession often performed surgery on the battlefield and in their shops. This the reason barber poles are red and white today!

To learn more about dental history visit the American Dental Association and check out the historical facts dentistry has to offer.

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