dental hygene in america

How Early Americans Took Care of Their Teeth

Imagine if, instead of brushing and flossing, you had to fill your mouth with charcoal to clean your teeth. It’s an unappealing thought, yet it was reality for many early Americans who didn’t have the benefit of toothbrushes and toothpaste, let alone family dentistry.

Early Americans — from Native Americans to the Pilgrims to the Founding Fathers — found creative ways to help prevent tooth decay, even if those methods would make us cringe today. They were unpleasant and often ineffective, which explains why so many of these early residents, like our first president, had to have dentures.