Your teeth were designed to last your entire life, as long as you take care of them. To help you take the best care of your teeth, it is a good idea to know all the facts about your teeth. Here are some interesting historical facts about teeth care and how you should take care of your own teeth.

Historical Tooth Care

People have been taking care of their teeth for thousands of years with their own versions of toothbrushes and toothpastes. 

The Chinese invented a chewing stick to use as a toothbrush in 1600 BC to keep their teeth and gums clean. The chewing sticks were gathered from aromatic trees which would help to freshen their breath when they chewed them. 

Even the Egyptians used tooth sticks to clean their teeth. Archaeologists have found these tooth cleaning implements inside Egyptian tombs next to their owners.

A recipe to make toothpaste was found on Egyptian papyrus. The recipe instructs for making the paste, combine sea salt, pepper, mint, and dried iris flower, then crush it together. When you mix it with saliva, it makes a cleaning paste for your teeth.

Archaeologist have uncovered proof that dental implants were used long ago in ancient civilizations. They unearthed an iron pin from a third century BC grave in northern France. Scientists believe this iron pin found in the remains of a female was to replace an upper incisor tooth that had fallen out. 

Other types of dental implants have been found in the form of shells or bones shaped into a tooth, then inserted into the person's jawbone. A 7,000-year-old skull from Algeria had a type of bone dental implant. Many times these dental implants have fused into the person's jawbone, just as dental implants from sites like fuse in place today.

Toothbrush Care

People long ago may not have known about virus and bacteria, but medical knowledge today can help you keep your toothbrush clean. It is a good idea to replace your toothbrush after you have been sick with a virus like the flu or a cold. Viruses can live on your toothbrush bristles after you have gotten over the illness, then re-infect you to make you sick again. 

You should not keep your toothbrush out on your bathroom countertop within six feet of the toilet. When you flush the toilet, bacteria in the toilet water can spray out of the toilet and land on your toothbrush. Then, when you brush your teeth, this bacteria can make you sick.


A good tip to remember when using your toothpaste is to not share a tube of toothpaste with other members of your family. When they are sick, their germs can transfer from their toothbrush to the toothpaste tube. Then, when you use the toothpaste to brush your teeth, it can make you sick as well.

After you use your toothpaste tube, do not replace the cap. When you put the cap back on the tube of toothpaste, the closed environment can allow bacteria to grow.

Tooth Decay

Babies are not born with tooth decay bacteria. Bacteria has to be transferred to them from someone else who already has it inside their mouth. You should be careful with babies to not spread this type of bacteria to them by sharing utensils or cups, and even from kisses. Once a child has the bacteria in their mouth, it will begin to cause tooth decay.

History can teach you by learning about the mistakes of others and what not to do. History gives evidence of people who had rotted and abscessed teeth, sometimes causing their death. For this reason alone, you should take care of your teeth.