Practices in oral hygiene and dentistry have made big strides over the years. Advanced technology, precise methods, and increased awareness have allowed us to help our patients keep their teeth healthier for longer. Dentistry in ancient times was not always as comfortable, scientific, and successful as today though. Here are some interesting facts about the history of oral hygiene and dentistry.

  • A “tooth worm” was cited as the cause for cavities in a Sumerian text dating back to 5000 BC. Now, it is common knowledge that tooth decay is a result of a combination of sugar, bacteria, and saliva, to form acid. Enamel erosion from the acid formation leads to an infected tooth. In ancient history, however, the legend of the cavity-causing worm spread throughout India, Egypt, China, and Japan. The tooth worm is even referenced in Homer.
  • In the Middle Ages, barbers and general doctors performed mostly shoddy dentistry services. Today, dentistry has nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, each with specific qualifications, ranging from pediatric dentistry to oral surgery. Riverside Dental Group has a specialist from almost every field of dentistry.
  • In the 1950’s more than half of Americans over 65 years old had lost all of their permanent teeth. Today, less than a quarter of older people in the United States are toothless.
  • In the late 1800’s, a common wedding present for a young couple was the gift of tooth extractions. Many people from this time period believed removing all of their teeth would solve many oral health problems. Today, we know that optimal oral health depends on keeping as many of your healthy natural teeth as possible.
  • Daily oral hygiene was not a widespread practice in the United States or Britain until after the return of World War I soldiers, who had grown used to required teeth cleanings in the field. Currently, the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth after every meal, or at least twice a day, including once in the morning and once before bed. Flossing is also an important part of a daily oral hygiene routine.

Quality Dental Care in Riverside

Riverside Dental Group is committed to helping you achieve your smile’s potential. To learn more about how porcelain veneers can give you a smile makeover in Riverside, contact one of our offices nearest you. We serve patients throughout Riverside County.