Dental Folklore, Myths and Facts
Although, today, dental care is organised, modern, and effective, dental history can be strange and peculiar, and even today some patients believe in wives tales that help keep them from the best dental care and hygiene they can achieve.
On the other hand, the mouth and teeth are also amazing, subject to a variety of unusual conditions and generating a long list of interesting facts.
Today, DentArana is stepping away from our usual discussions of dental conditions and treatments to take a look at some of the unusual beliefs and fact related to your mouth, and mouths throughout history!
Ancient And Modern Dental Myths
Toothaches have long been one of the most vexing physical complaints that people suffer from. In fact, second to the common cold, decayed teeth are the most common physical malady. The fact that toothaches are common worldwide means that many cultures have come up with toothache “cures” across time. Here are a few of the odd ones.
Many cultures have believed that tooth worms were the cause of toothaches. Depending on the culture and era, the tooth worms were dealt with differently. The Aztecs, for instance, believed chewing on chili peppers would sweat the tooth worm out. Multiple cultures have come up with honey as a cure (odd, considering it contains a lot of sugar), with the idea that coating a tooth with honey would keep air from the tooth worm and it would have to come out.
Amulets made of animal teeth have always been thought to have power, including over teething pain in infants. In 1713, Isabella, Lady Wentworth, mother of Thomas Raby, the Earl of Strafford, wrote the following letter – espousing the benefits of wolf tooth amulets for teething – to her son: “I have made your daughter a present of a wolf’s tooth. I sent to Ireland for it and I set it hear in Gold. They are very luckey things, for my two ferst, one did dye, the other bred his (teeth) very ill, and none of the rest did for I had one for all the rest.”
In rural areas of the US, a particularly grisly idea developed. The innocent rabbit was believed to sooth the pain of teething babies. Application of fluid from a rabbits’ brain was thought to soothe inflamed gums and reduce tooth pain.
In ancient Greece, donkey’s milk was used as a mouthwash to strengthen the gums and teeth.
You can’t see a dentist while pregnant
In fact, the truth is the opposite. Pregnant women are more likely to develop gum disease, which can lead to complications. While pregnant women should not have some treatments, for instance any that require antibiotics, dental checkups and care actually help protect the health of mother and child! Do be sure to mention your pregnancy to your dentist during your visit!
Dentists are judgmental
Not at DentArana! In fact, most dentists are highly-trained professionals who help dental patients and use their judgment in deciding on appropriate treatments!
Weird Dental Facts
- Foot teeth? Doug Pritchard, a 13 year old boy, experienced agonising pain in his foot and visited the doctor. The doctor discovered a tooth growing in the boy’s foot! In fact, teeth have grown in various parts of the body, though most often in the nose.
- Buddha’s Teeth. When most English speaking people think about religious relics, they think of Christian artifacts. But Buddhism has plenty of holy objects as well — Including teeth from the mouth of the Buddha! On your next trip to Singapore, drop by the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, which displays one of philosopher’s pearly teeth surrounded by prayer rooms and dragons.
- 6 is the magic number–this is number of feet away from your toilet you should store your toothbrush in order to avoid airborne particles from the toilet reaching it!
- In 200 AD, the Romans already had used pretty impressive dental technology! They had already developed gold crowns, and used fixed bridges to cover gaps from missing teeth. They also used a form of toothpaste concocted from honey and crushed eggshells (Which beats a traditional Roman mouthwash, which was made from human urine!).
Tooth fairy in Italy?
Italians have both a Tooth Fairy and a Tooth Mouse. The Tooth Fairy has a faithful helper, a little mouse. He lives in a royal palace and takes care of baby teeth of children all over the world.
DentArana Is Your Partner In Health
DentArana provides Family Dentistry in Arana Hills. Our goal is to make quality dental care affordable, and help you achieve maximum oral and overall health! DentArana can help you with all your dental needs, from clean and scales to bridges and dentures. We offer late and Saturday hours!
New Patients Specials
- Pay No Gap : NO GAP for Exam, Clean and Scale (with any health insurance) for under 17
- No gap Mouthguards or $99 if no health fund.
- No Health Insurance : Only $99 for Exam, Clean and Scale (under 17’s)
Call us on (07) 3351 3366 or visit us at Shop 5 Patricks Place, Corner Dawson Parade and Patricks Road in Arana Hills.