Amazingly enough, personal hygiene has evolved in a way that you might not expect. Most people would probably expect incredible leaps and bounds in personal hygiene and our understanding of how to look after our bodies, but all through human history, civilization has had their own way of keeping clean and healthy. In the modern era we understand bacteria and what causes sickness and infection better than before, and what materials to avoid in our pursuit of personal hygiene, but our routines are largely similar. Let’s take a look at some of them.
The First Known Record of Dental Hygiene
From our best estimates and knowledge, the advancements in oral hygiene started gaining prevalence in as early as 2500BC with the Egyptian people, and there are documented writings of tooth decay and gum disease through history, demonstrating that there was at least a rudimentary understanding of oral hygiene for at least the last few thousand years. The start of modern dental practices like crowns and replacement teeth can be found in records and publications from the 18th century.
Devices used during these times can often look more like torture devices than dental implements.
The way that we cleaned our teeth and the practice of dentistry really started its evolution into what we know it as today in the 18th century, thanks largely to the work of Pierre Fauchard and the publication of his book “The Surgeon Dentist”.
The work of Pierre Fauchard, the “Father of Modern Dentistry”, was the basis for much of what we know today. The real advancements in dentistry and the way we think of oral hygiene really only came to prevalence much more recently. In the 19th century, toothpaste started to become available and in the 1950s started to include fluoride. Toothbrushes in their current form are a reasonably recent invention, finding prevalence in the 1930s. This is when the synthetic toothbrush was first marketed, with bristles made of nylon. Today we have companies like Team Tech and their advancements in the manufacturing processes of medical and dental equipment to thank for the accessibility of good quality toothbrushes at affordable prices.
Dentistry started to evolve into both a preventative and medical realm and into the area of aesthetics in the 1970s when tooth whitening products started to find their way into our homes. Cosmetic dentistry also found it’s popularity in the 80s and 90s with changes like a move to tooth-colored fillings and cosmetic dentistry. Thanks again in part to the work of Pierre Fauchard, orthodontics have also become a big part of modern dentistry.
You only get a single set of teeth to last you from your early teens all the way to your grave, so ensuring they’re properly looked after is of utmost importance. Following recommended guidelines for oral hygiene and using good quality toothbrushes and toothpaste, along with daily flossing and routine trips to the dentist will keep your pearly whites in good shape for a long time to come.