A tooth is made up of four layers. These layers are the enamel, dentin, cementum, and pulp. Usually, the only visible part of the tooth is the crown and the outside is made up of enamel. Enamel is the hard-calcified tissue that contains no living cells.
Actually, by around age 1 year old, a person has all of their teeth forming in their jaw preparing to erupt. That’s why early dental care is so important!!
Paul Revere did more than make his famous midnight ride. He was skilled in the art of dentistry. From 1760-1770, he placed advertisements in a Boston newspaper offering his services as a dentist. He cleaned teeth, made dentures and was probably the first person to use post-mortem dental forensics. He was trained by the same dentist who made George Washington’s dentures and is one of dentistry’s forefathers.
When she was 16 years old, this woman began her journey into dentistry. In the 1800’s there were many women practicing dentistry, but none were admitted to dental school. In 1866, at age 33, Lucy Beaman Hobbs graduated from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, becoming the first woman to earn a dental degree. She paved the way for women to enter a once off-limit arena.
The Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry opened in 1996 in Baltimore, MD. There you will find a modern dental office, learn about dental history and discover advances in dental health.
Saint Appolonia is the patron saint of dentistry. Over 1700 years ago, in Alexandria Egypt, she was persecuted and tortured by soldiers for her religious beliefs. The soldiers pulled out all of her teeth and then killed her. Later, the Vatican canonized her as a saint. Legend has it that you can ask her to relieve your toothache pain. Images of Saint Appolonia can be seen in dental college and European churches. She is portrayed holding forceps and extracted teeth.
Around the middle ages, wealthy Europeans used twigs from sweet smelling wood to clean their teeth and used toothpicks make of gold and silver. Around 1498, the Emperor of China used hog bristles on a bone handle as a toothbrush. This was very expensive and families often shared toothbrushes. In 1920’s dentists recommended that each child and adult use their own toothbrush. In 1938 Dupont make a brush with nylon bristles and people could afford to use their own.
Hippocrates and Aristotle both wrote about out dentistry. This was from 500-300 BC. They described the pattern of tooth eruption, treatments for decayed teeth and gum disease, tooth extraction with forceps and the use of wires to hold together loose teeth and fractured jaws. But wait, in 5000 BC, a Sumerian text describes dental decay as “tooth worms” and about 260BC, an inscription on the tomb of Hesy-Rey an Egyptian scribe, includes the title “the greatest of those who deal with teeth, and of physicians.” This inscription reference identifies the earliest dental practitioner.
(Information gathered from the American Dental Association website at ada.org)