I recently came across some facts regarding ancient dentistry and oral care. It’s always interesting to see how much has changed and yet in some cases, I find it amazing how innovative things were for those times.
- Egyptians were reportedly the first to use toothpaste, the main ingredients of which were eggshells and pumice.
- Although they did not have toothbrushes or toothpaste, the ancient Romans of Pompeii were said to have excellent teeth because their diets were so low in sugar.
- The Mayans actually used tooth-shaped shells for dental implants! The shells contained calcium carbonate which allowed them to integrate with the bone.
- In medieval times, the Japanese used to dye their teeth black through a practice called Ohaguro which was a statement of beauty. It evidently acted as a dental sealant to prevent tooth decay as well.
- Ancient civilizations as far back as 2,500 years ago, bedazzled their teeth with semi-precious jewels, attaching the stones with adhesives made of natural resins like plant sap.
- The Etruscans were likely the first to experiment with filling gold teeth.
So, these are just a few of the interesting facts I found in ancient dentistry. What amazes me most is their ingenuity given the lack of modern resources and technology.