Humans didn’t always have access to minty toothpastes, high-powered toothbrushes, flavored floss, relaxing sedation dentistry, safe oral procedures, and extensive dental knowledge. So which past civilizations practiced oral healthcare techniques that evolved into what we know today?
Early Dental Experts
The Indus Valley Civilization
Evidence of dental techniques dates back a whopping 9,000 years, when the people of the Indus Valley (which comprised parts of modern-day Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan) demonstrated knowledge of oral surgery techniques in 7000 BC.
Aside from advanced dental techniques from the Indus Valley, other civilizations made many strides in paving the way toward modern dental health techniques. Ancient Egyptians not only developed intricate ways to remove cavities and decaying teeth, but anesthesia to help alleviate pain during these procedures.
Ancient Etruscans, Greeks & Chinese
When it came to daily oral health maintenance, the ancient Etruscans, Greeks, and Chinese had innovative (and at times outlandish) tools to help keep cavities away. They used fibrous sticks as toothbrushes and later even pig hair as bristles. Their tooth powder concoctions were made with strange ingredients like crushed bones, ash, and eggshells, in addition to more appetizing ingredients, like ginger and mint.
Evolution of Preventive Dentistry
Modern dentistry started to take shape with the publication of French physician Pierre Fauchard’s groundbreaking book in 1728, The Surgical Dentist. Up until then, ideas regarding at-home oral care varied wildly. Dental decay was rampant and tooth extractions were commonly performed by barbers. Fauchard’s detailed notes on dental issues and treatments eventually prompted people to take a closer look at their oral health and dental hygiene. Preventive dentistry became an official field of study in 1903, and the first modern toothbrush was introduced in the United States in 1938. Through the efforts of many individuals, at-home dental hygiene and oral care is now a standard and accessible practice in this country.
Comfortable, High-Quality Care & Advanced Technology at Our Office
From the Indus Valley Civilization’s early dental health innovations to now, we’ve come a very long way in preventing and treating oral health issues. Come see what thousands of years of innovation has led to here at Arizona Biltmore Dentistry, where we only utilize the latest technology to enhance our patients’ comfort and dental health. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!