By Elizabeth Flatley
Once every six months we all have our dreaded dental appointment. From teeth cleaning to orthodontics, dental hygiene has never been better. In fact, a common phobia between kids and adults revolves around the horrific situation where teeth fall out. Dental disease has plagued humanity for centuries. Our ancestors relied on treatments and tools that were available to alleviate themselves from excruciating toothaches. Even though some cultures believed that tooth pain and decay were caused by spirits, the majority of our ancestors believed that there were worms inside your teeth; this theory has lasted from/as far back as 5000BCE. Now knowing some background on our favorite topic, dental hygiene, below is a list of famous dentists and their accomplishments.
- Paul Revere
A jack of many trades, Paul Revere was the man who rode into town bringing news that the British troops were on their way. His main profession, silversmith, gave him time and the right tools to build fake teeth.
- Charles Cassidy Bass
Charles was known as one of the first dentists in history to focus on dental hygiene or “preventive dentistry”. He found out that only if people kept their gums and teeth clean, it would help from causing them to fall out.
- John Greenwood
This man is responsible for designing George Washington’s famous faux teeth! He actually carved them from a hippopotamus’ tusk.
- Doc Holliday
Mr. Holliday was a renowned gambler, gunslinger, and dentist. As a dentist by trade, he became a famous figure in the west and was also close friends with fellow gunslinger Wyatt Earp. He began his career in dentistry in the south, but the nightlife of gambling, alcohol, and drugs was very persuasive. Then by the mid-1870s he had developed a strong reputation in gambling and fighting.
- Emeline Roberts
Emeline was always curious about dentistry and was passionate about helping people, but the newly formed dental schools at the time did not accept women. Passionate about her craft, she began secretly practicing fillings and extractions on discarded teeth. After marrying in 1855 to a dentist, her husband allowed her to join his practice.
- Pierre Fauchard
Mr. Fauchard wrote the complete and only, at the time, scientific description of dentistry. His book described normal oral anatomy periodontal disease, orthodontics, methods for removing decay and restoring teeth, and replacement of missing teeth.
- William Addis
When William Addis was in prison, he created the very thing we use to protect our teeth today. Just by drilling small holes into a cattle bone, sticking tied swine fibers in bunches, and passing them through the drilled holes with glue, he became the first creator of the mass-produced toothbrush!