National Dental Health Month is held each May, to call attention to dental care. The campaign celebrates preventative care, as an important tool for optimal oral health. In the early 20th century, a few progressive dentists are credited for having promoted the idea of preventative care. Their work help transformed the health of the nation over the next 100 years. First implemented in public schools, regular oral hygiene and patient education have been shown to significantly reduce tooth decay and mouth disease.
Dental Health History in a Nutshell
People believed that dental worms caused cavities.
Archaeologists discovered toothpicks dating to this time in Mesopotamia, which is now known as Iraq.
Hesy-Re was an Egyptian scribe who is recognized as the first dental practitioner.
1193 – 1164 BC
Aesculapius, the Roman equivalent of the Greek god of medicine and healing, Asclepius, was believed to advocate cleansing the mouth and teeth.
384 – 322 BC
Aristotle studied under Plato. He discussed teeth in some of his writings. In fact, at one point, he incorrectly asserted that men have more teeth than women. (Both men and women have 32).
Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates first recommended the use of a dentifrice powder to clean the teeth.
An ancient Chinese medical text includes an early mention of silver fillings.
936 – 1013 AD
Arabian surgeon and author, Albucasis, explained the formation of tartar. He also designed a set of 14 scrapers to thoroughly clean teeth.
If you had a toothache, you would go to the barber. At the time, barbers dealt with far more than just hair and were practically medical professionals. Extracting teeth was a normal and accepted part of their job description.
John Greenwood, George Washington’s dentist, shared knowledge about porcelain teeth.
Levi Spear Parmley advocated cleaning the teeth with waxed silk, in addition to brushing.
James Snell invents the first reclining dental chair.
Twenty-six dentists meet in Niagara Falls, New York, and form the American Dental Association.
James Beall Morrison patented the first mechanized dental drill.
Willoughby D. Miller determined microorganisms cause dental decay.
The first dental X-ray was used.
Known as the Father of Modern Dentistry, Thaddeus P. Hyatt encouraged dentists to repair teeth and help patients prevent decay. He was an early advocate for dental hygienists.
Alfred Einhorn, a German chemist, formulates a local anesthetic, later marketed under the trade name Novocain.
The American Board of Orthodontics, the world’s first dental specialty board, is founded.
The nylon toothbrush, the first made with synthetic bristles, appears on the market.
The first fluoride toothpastes are marketed.
Michael Buonocore invented white (composite) fillings.
A fully reclining dental chair is introduced.
Introduction of electric toothbrush in the U.S. Also, four-handed” dentistry became commonplace, with dentist and assistant working together for speed and better efficiency.
Manufacturers market the first commercial home tooth bleaching product.
Dental Care Today
Circa 2021,Dr. Fred Wong and his dental colleagues rely on modern techniques to provide quality service to their patients. What’s more, patients take an active role in their own oral health care, brushing twice a day and flossing their teeth at least once a day.
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.