Dental care is a serious business, because it’s about your overall health and confidence, as well as your oral health and function.
And here at Cardiff Dental we’ve written a lot on this blog about dental treatments, hygiene, dos and don’ts, and what we can offer our patients and community.
But for this blog post we’re going to take a little bit of a break from that and have a little fun exploring the amusing, entertaining, and sometimes bizarre side of dentistry and its history. We’ve have collected strange historical treatments, modern day beliefs, and some quirky facts that we hope you will find as entertaining as we did!
So, let’s bust some myths about your oral health and take a look back at some silly beliefs from the past.
Ancient dental myths
Before dentistry became scientific, modern, and efficient, it was a lot of guesswork and blind optimism. This lead to some rather strange dental treatments. Perhaps the most common dental issue across the millennia has been the simple toothache. And it has lead to some of the most ridiculous treatments!
Toothworms & honey
In “Toothworms and Spider Juice: An Illustrated History of Dentistry,” Loretta Frances Ichord reports that people of ancient times though that the pain of a toothache was caused by toothworms that lived deep in the tooth. While this was a common belief in ancient times, the treatments varied.
Honey was often used to coat an infected tooth in the Middle Ages. People smeared aching teeth with honey and waited all night with tweezers in hand, ready to pluck out the toothworm as it emerged.
Other treatments were equally bizarre. Earthworms were one treatment. You were advised to dig up a some earthworms, boil them, and pour the solution that resulted into the ear on the same side as the toothache. Some people believed that the tooth of a dead person worn around the neck could eliminate a toothache. If that didn’t work, the alternative was to sniff the tooth of a corpse in hopes that this would drive your toothache away.
While all of this seems silly today, people still often believe things about dental care that simply aren’t true.
Modern dental myths
You shouldn’t visit a dentist while pregnant. This is a myth! It is actually important to continue regular dental care during pregnancy. Pregnant women are more likely to develop gum disease, which can lead to pregnancy complications so prompt treatment is very important. Some treatments, like antibiotics or removal of amalgam fillings, are not safe during pregnancy, so be sure to mention your pregnancy to your dentist when you visit.
Dental appointments are painful and uncomfortable. Some dental procedures can cause discomfort, but almost any uncomfortable dental procedure is performed with anesthesia so there will be no pain.
Women lose a tooth for each child they bear. While hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase bacteria levels in the mouth that can lead to bleeding gums or gingivitis, tooth loss is unlikely with an effective and regular cleaning practice.
Crazy dental stories!
Don’t use glue in your mouth! This is not a myth. Angie Barlow was so scared of the dentist that she superglued her broken teeth back into her mouth when they fell out. She did this for more than 10 years and succeeded in creating something like a homemade denture out of her natural teeth and glue. By the time she got to a dentist she had lost 90 per cent of the bone supporting the teeth in her upper jaw.
The moral of the story is you’re having dental issues, come see your Cardiff Dental dentist, who knows how to fix teeth safely!
Daffy Dentures. In the 1960s, Canadian woodsman named Francis Wharton found himself in need of a replacement for his teeth. He killed a deer and removed its teeth, which He filed down to create a semi-human appearance and implanted them using a combination of plastic wood and household cement. The story goes that Wharton went on to eat the deer with the teeth that he crafted from it.
The Swiss Tooth Fairy. In Switzerland, as well as Belgium, Morocco and, France children leave teeth under the pillow for the “Little Mouse”, who takes teeth and leaves change or a bill behind in place of the tooth. This fairy tale is thought to come from a 17th century tale known as “The Good Little Mouse,” in which a mouse hides under a king’s pillow at night, stealing his teeth as he slumbers.
Cardiff Dental is:
- A local family owned and family run dental practice.
- You have the option of seeing the same dentist every time.
- Available to treat painful conditions on the same day
- One of the very few dental practices that are accredited by QIP (Quality Innovative Performance) for meeting the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.
Child Dental Benefit Schedule
- 6-monthly FREE checkup for kids under 18yrs of age
- Bulk billing for children who are eligible for dental treatments through Medicare CDBS (Up to $1000 worth of dental treatments over two years)
Our Teeth Whitening Specials
- FREE Teeth Whitening Consultation
- 1 Hour Zoom Whitening Special $550 Save $250 (In Office Bleaching)
- Take Home Teeth Whitening Special $250 Save $150
- Bleaching for $250
Call us on (02) 4954 6888 or visit us at 34B Kelton St. in Cardiff.