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Dentistry Through the Ages

Dentistry has changed a great deal over the course of time; From Hesy-Re, the first recorded dentist from 2600 BC Egypt, to philosopher Aristole's writings about an ancient form of orthodontics, to Pierre Fauchard, the father of modern dentistry, who introduced dental fillings as a treatment for cavities back in the 1700s, there are many interesting stories about dentistry from history.

Here are a few fascinating facts:

• The first known toothbrush was invented during the Tang Dynasty of China. Its bristles were made from stiff hogs hair!

• The earliest known example of dental implants came from the Maya Civilization, who used sea shells to replace missing teeth.

• Dental work was conducted by barber-surgeons back between the 5th and 15th centuries. The traditional red and white striped barber pole may have symbolized the bloodletting performed by barbers and the bandages used to stem the bleeding.

• In Queen Elizabeth's time, tooth decay was believed to be the result of a worm that burrowed into teeth. The Queen attempted to fight it through the consumption of large amounts of sugar, resulting in the discolored teeth she was later known for.

To learn more about the history of dentistry, visit ADA's Dentistry Timeline. For modern periodontics, see Scott Sazima, DDS in Westlake, OH.

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