Not Your Grandfather’s Dentures: The Evolution of Dentures

Have you ever heard of George Washington’s wooden dentures? Probably, but if you haven’t, it isn’t true. Although dentures have changed dramatically over time, wooden dentures were actually never popular. So what exactly were the first dentures like?

The Beginning of Dentures

Dentures actually date back to around 700BC! Etruscans located in Northern Italy made dentures using animal and sometimes even human teeth. The teeth were placed into a gold band using a metal pin. Sadly, these materials deteriorated quite quickly, meaning they had to be frequently replaced. Despite their longevity, however, these dentures continued to be made until the mid-1800s.

The Evolution of Dentures

Dentures made from elephant, walrus and hippopotamus ivory become popular in the 1700s, however ivory stained and began to smell quite quickly. Wearers of ivory dentures also often complained of discomfort.

Another option during the 1800s were dentures made from human teeth, even sometimes referred to as “Waterloo-teeth” due to a number of teeth recovered from dead soldiers in the Battle of Waterloo.

In the mid-1800s, vulcanite was invented by the Goodyear family. This hardened rubber created a perfect base for dentures and was much cheaper than gold bases originally used. Vulcanite could be molded to fit the contours of the patient’s mouth as well.

Dentures Today

Luckily there have been advancements in dentistry! Dentures today are made from comfortable acrylic resin which is more resistant to chipping, breaking and staining. These new dentures are also more affordable and easier to make, making denture treatment more accessible for people around the world.

If you or a loved one suffers from missing teeth, contact Dental Arts to schedule a dental examination and discuss whether dentures may be right for you. We look forward to restoring your smile!

4 Dental Habits You Should Break

Taking care of our teeth and having a beautiful, healthy smile is very important. While brushing, flossing and routine dental care can help take care of your teeth, there are lots of bad dental habits people may not even think about. From opening things with teeth to nail biting, certain habits can negatively impact your dental health and hygiene.

Nail Biting

Many people bite and chew their nails out of nervous habit which can chip, crack and damage teeth. Jaw issues are also common in nail biters due to the position you must hold your mouth, putting pressure on your jaw. If you find yourself often biting on your nails there are ways to curb the habit. Certain nail polishes with either a bitter or spicy taste can be an effective reminder to keep your nails out of your mouth. In situations that may induce nail-biting, occupying your hands can also be helpful. Stress reduction is another big one but can be easier said than done, set small goals that you can achieve.

Teeth Clenching/Grinding

Do you wake up with painful teeth or jaw, find yourself clenching your teeth throughout the day? This habit can crack, chip and wear away teeth. For patients that clench at night, a mouthguard can be custom made to wear while sleeping. Patients who clench or grind during the day can make active thoughts to keep teeth not touching. Some sugar-free gums may help as well.

Chewing Ice

Ice is often easy to chew but on occasion, we see patients that have managed to crack, chip and damage their teeth and dental work. Patients with fillings, crowns, bridges, etc. are at a higher risk for their dental work needing to be re-done due to damage. If ice is too tempting, try drinking from a straw or chilling beverages in the fridge.

Frequent Snacking

Most people brush their teeth once or twice a day, but what happens in your mouth in between those cleanings? Depending on how often you snack, you could be constantly feeding bacteria in your mouth with leftover food. This produces acid and can wear away at the enamel which protects your tooth. Try to cut down on snacking, if you must snack choose ones that are not high in sugar. Always use water to wash away debris after eating food. Certain mouthwashes may be helpful to use throughout the day as well.

Want your teeth to be the healthiest they can be? Then avoid these 4 bad dental habits! Always make sure to be keeping up with routine at home dental care as well as scheduled dental visits.