Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Did The Pilgrims Brush And Floss?

Dentistry as we know it today didn't exist back in the days of the pilgrims.  But, that doesn't mean the first American settlers ignored oral hygiene.

Researchers tell us that the Plymouth colonists likely used twig or bone, plus animal hair to fashion a sort of toothbrush.

It's also believed that they used salt to remove the grime from their teeth.  Their counterparts, the Wampanoag Indians probably used yarrow root, leaves and twigs to keep their teeth clean.

Actually, though, tooth decay may not have been as problematic back then as it is today. Guests at the first Thanksgiving ate a healthy meal of natural foods, including cranberries, vegetables, deer and other roasted meats, shellfish and corn.  There were no pecan and pumpkin pies, no pans of brownies and the many other sugary, decay-causing treats that have become part of our modern Thanksgiving holiday.  
So, do you pass on that piece of pumpkin pie in the name of dental health?  Of course not. But, follow that big meal with a good brushing and flossing.  Remember to brush and floss after every meal, and feel free to indulge in treats as you feel the need -- but don't go crazy. Good at-home oral hygiene and a little moderation will keep you giving thanks for a healthy, beautiful smile.

The staff of Wilmette Dental wishes you a most happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ancient Dental Find

(National Geographic Photo)
Researchers in Italy believe they have uncovered evidence of ancient dentistry in the form of a 6,500 year old human jaw bone that actually holds a tooth containing traces of beeswax filling.  

The scientists who discovered the prehistoric example of dentistry suspect that the beeswax may have been applied to reduce the pain and sensitivity of an apparent vertical crack in the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth.  Even more fascinating is what scientists believe was the cause of the tooth damage:  most likely, weaving.  Our prehistoric ancestors used their teeth for many things other than just eating.  Weaving was a common practice among Neolithic women who used their teeth to cut and hold the thread.  

Evidence of prehistoric dentistry is sparse, and this new specimen, found in Slovenia, a country bordering Italy, is the earliest known direct example of therapeutic-palliative dental filling.  Researchers say it will be extremely useful in understanding ancient European dentistry.  

But Wilmette Dental believes the biggest impact of this find is to make us appreciate all that modern dentistry has to offer, including far better filling options than beeswax!

If you are looking for a dentist in the Chicago area, please consider Wilmette Dental, a North Shore tradition in family dentistry for more than 30 years.   Feel free to call our office at 847-251-0085 or request an appointment online at www.wilmettedental.com.