Dr. Tanya Orr, DDS
6880 W County Hwy 30A
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

How Did People of the Past Clean Their Teeth?

Aerial view of a cluster of green mint leaves that the ancient Chinese put into toothpaste to clean teeth

What was it like to clean teeth without modern dental tools? Let’s take a look at how dental technology has evolved over time.

The Beginning of Dental History

The earliest texts on oral health date back to 3000 BCE. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Etruscans all used toothpicks and chewing sticks as toothbrushes as well as some form of toothpaste, usually tooth powders, which contained unappetizing ingredients like bones and eggshells. The ancient Chinese developed toothpastes using ginger and mint, ingredients that can be found in modern toothpastes today.

Early Dental Tools

An Arabic surgeon named Albucasis developed the first known professional dental tool. He developed a tool that could remove plaque long before the invention of the early toothbrush. The first modern toothbrush was developed in England and had pig hair for bristles!

The Field of Dentistry

Dentistry wasn’t its own field until a French physician named Pierre Fauchard (1678-1761) published The Surgical Dentist in 1728. This revolutionary book contained detailed descriptions of symptoms and treatments for issues that pertained to gum health, oral surgery, orthodontics, and tooth loss. People began to take oral health issues more seriously and developed specific tools to help patients maintain their oral health.

The Development of Preventive Dentistry

Dental floss was invented less than 100 years after The Surgical Dentist was published, helping people keep their teeth healthy and prevent complications. However, preventive dentistry didn’t become popular until the 20th century. The first dental hygienist was licensed to practice in the United States in 1917, a profession that promoted the importance of preventative care and proper cleaning techniques. With the introduction of the modern toothbrush in the United States in 1938, preventative dentistry and promoting healthy dental habits at home became part of the average person’s everyday routine.

Receive Modern Dental Care at Our Office

From sticks and tooth powders to the modern tools we know and love today, the way people clean their teeth has evolved rapidly. Today, dental offices not only offer services that thoroughly clean teeth and gums, but they also offer cosmetic and restorative options along with comfortable amenities. Gentle Breeze Family Dentistry is one such place. Whether you’re due for a cleaning or need advanced restorative care, we’d love to see you. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

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Affordable Payment Options

We believe that dental care should be available to everyone, but we also don’t want it to be a financial burden. To accommodate our patients, we accept a wide variety of flexible payment options. We are very insurance friendly, accept CareCredit financing, all major credit cards, and even have our very own in-house dental savers plan. We have something for everyone, so contact us today for any questions about our affordable payment options.

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