Throughout the thousands of years of human history, ideas about traditions, beliefs, and cultures have changed with time. The same applies to the dental world; here are a few interesting beliefs people used to have about teeth.
The Perilous Tooth Worm
A Sumerian text from 5000 B.C. is the first to mention a tooth worm. What is a tooth worm? Apparently it was a tiny worm that lived in your mouth and caused teeth to decay. People believed in this cavity causing worm up until the 1700’s.
Those living in medieval Germany knew how to deal with a toothache. The solution was simple, you just had to kiss a donkey! This folktale remedy obviously didn’t work, but it was probably better than going to your barber and having a tooth extracted without anesthesia.
The Original Tooth Fairy
The tooth fairy myth is actually a recent one that developed in the early 1900’s. It was based on a similar myth believed by children all over the world: that your baby teeth were taken and replaced with gifts by a rodent! Having a mouse or rat as the tooth fairy was a common idea because a rodent’s teeth are always growing. Young children hoped that by offering their lost tooth, a mouse would help them grow new ones.