We know that for most of our patients, their favorite part of a dental cleaning is how smooth and clean their teeth feel afterward, not to mention how shiny they are. Tooth polishing has long been part of the dental checkup routine ever since the 1700s when Pierre Fauchard, the father of modern dentistry, recommended it. However, if you’ve had your teeth cleaned recently (and you have, right?) you may have noticed that your dentist or hygienist didn’t polish every single tooth. That’s because the results of recent studies are changing how dentists and dental hygienists approach polishing. Read more
We’ll bet the early history of dental care and dentists in the United States is far more interesting that you would have guessed, filled with famous names and genius innovations. While the technology and discoveries that led to modern dentistry happened all over the world, many notable firsts took place in the United States.
1768-1770 – Paul Revere the Dentist
While Paul Revere is known best as a silversmith and for his famous ride during the Revolutionary War, he also briefly offered services as a dentist. He was also responsible for the first known case of using dental forensics to identify a body. After the Battle of Breed’s Hill in Boston, Revere confirmed the identity of his friend Dr. Joseph Warren by the dental bridge he had constructed for him.
1789 – George Washington’s Dentures
When George Washington was serving as the first U.S. president, American dentist John Greenwood crafted him a set of false teeth from hippopotamus ivory, gold wire, brass and human teeth. Contrary to legend, none of Washington’s sets of dentures were made of wood. Several of his sets of false teeth still exist today and are on display at museums near his home.
1840 – The First Dental School
Horace Hayden and Chapin Harris established the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, the first dental school in the world. This school is also the first to offer the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree, which is later adopted by other institutions. The College later became part of the University of Maryland. The Dentariae Medicinae Doctorae (DMD) degree was later established by Harvard University, leading to lots of confusion over the two names for what is essentially the same dental degree!
1880s – Toothpaste in a Tube!
The invention of metal tube packaging makes at home oral hygiene more convenient than ever. Toothpaste can now be sold pre-mixed in a squeezable tube. Before this, people had to mix powder with water to make their own paste whenever they cleaned their teeth.
1896 – The Introduction of X-Rays
Just a year after William Roentgen, a German physicist, discovers x-rays, an American dentist named C. Edmond Kells takes a dental x-ray of a living patient for the first time. X-rays go on to become one of dentistry’s most powerful tools for diagnosis and treatment planning.
These days people are being more and more conscious of what’s in the food they eat and the products they buy. But do you know what your toothpaste is made of? The answer is there are many different compounds that make up toothpaste. Modern toothpaste is truly a marvel of modern science that can remove stains and prevent tooth decay. Read more