Oral Hygiene Before Toothbrushes

Oral Hygiene in Shrewsbury Shropshire

Oral Hygiene in Shrewsbury ShropshirePeople should be thankful for modern conveniences. This is true especially in the field of oral hygiene, where establishments like Monkmoor Dental Practice play a critical role. There is more than enough scientific evidence of the link between overall well-being and oral health. As such, tools like toothbrushes can be easily seen as modern technological marvels.

Before the toothbrush was invented, people used primitive but relatively effective methods to clean their teeth. Here are a few facts from history.

Ancient Oral Hygiene

Ancient people who lived in Sudan 2,000 years ago were known to use purple nutsedge, a kind of weed which is almost impervious to herbicides, to clean their teeth. According to archaeologists, these people regularly ate purple nutsedge, resulting in remarkably healthy teeth. It was soon revealed that the weed’s antibacterial properties may have been the reason, as revealed by results published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The human practice of gnawing on potentially therapeutic plants is also widespread elsewhere in the world. Among the most gnawed-on was mint and ginger, both of which were used for freshened breath. People also apparently recognise the plaque-destroying potential of eating whole grains, as well as eating food which requires a lot of chewing for better saliva production.

Ancient Egyptians were among the earliest ones to use a crude kind of toothbrush. They take a twig, split the end of it, and rub it onto their teeth. The result is some kind of a frayed end with tough fibres that can potentially get rid of food particles and plaque stuck in their teeth. In other places in the world, different tools and techniques were used. This included rough cloth, water, and even salt and chalk all rubbed across teeth to get rid of grime.

As for the predecessors of the modern toothpaste, there are plenty. People concocted mixtures which included ingredients such as ground oxen hooves, myrrh, rock salt, or bone, as well as honey, dried flower petals, and charred eggshells and pumice. Together or individually, these ingredients were enough — thousand-year-old corpses with excellent teeth are the proof of their effectiveness.