Written by: on November 6, 2014 @ 6:32 pm

ThanksgivingThe very first Thanksgiving was said to be a celebration between the colonists who landed at Plymouth Rock and the Wampanoag Indians who helped them learn about hunting and foraging on the new land they had settled in. Food during that period of time was not processed like many of our modern edibles tend to be. The Native Americans and the Pilgrims may have had an easier time keeping their tooth enamel healthy. That said, there were certainly no biannual checkups or modern oral hygiene care products, so cavities definitely happened and went untreated.

Innovative Early Toothbrushes

Before modern toothbrushes could be purchased at any corner store, toothbrush materials usually consisted of a twigs (or even bones) for handles and hog hair for bristles. Native Americans during that period probably relied on leaves, herbs, yarrow root, and twigs which were chewed on to create a natural toothbrush of sorts. It’s hard to imagine these images as the post dinner activity at the first Thanksgiving, but that would likely be the after meal behavior, according to historians.

Modern Brushing of Teeth

While the Pilgrims and Native Americans likely gave their best shot to keep their teeth clean, natural cleaning methods like those described above may have defeated the purpose by providing breeding grounds for bacteria. Modern manufacturers have figured out materials and processes to ensure the most sanitary products these days. Plastics make the handle of most toothbrushes, and nylon is the usual material for bristles. These materials are handled under specific standards to ensure that they will not make consumers sick.  As you’ve surely seen when you go to choose a toothbrush for yourself or someone in your family, there are various sizes, angles, and textures to choose from, and they are always individually packaged for safety and cleanliness.


To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with one of the experts at the Comfort Dental Group, then contact us today by calling our office at (248) 474-6434. We welcome patients living in and around Farmington Hills, Livonia, Novi, Northville, Westland, and Dearborn Heights.



Catogories: General Dentistry, Patient Testimonials

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