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17 Reasons Why You Wouldn't Want To See The Dentist In Olden Days

"Just suck on this rat for two hours and call me in the morning."

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1. Ancient dentists believed cavities were caused by "tooth worms" burrowing into the teeth.

Omne Bonum/ Public Domain / Via

They even went as far as extracting tooth and gum nerves mistaking them for worms. If that didn't work, they might try to smoke them out by funnelling noxious smoke into the tooth. All this before the invention of anaesthetic.

Luckily, everyone soon realised this wasn't true. JK: This belief ran from about 5,000 BC to the 18th century.

2. Ancient Mayan dentists could give you grills to rival a rap star. / Via

Using obsidian drills these dentists could make tiny holes in your teeth and fill them with gemstones.

It's thought that the dentists were actually quite skilled, as more often than not, they didn't crack the tooth. However, having a gem-filled hole probably didn't do much for cavity protection.

9. Don't worry, the dental pelican was eventually replaced by this:

Daderot/Creative Commons CC0 http://1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. / Via

The dental key. Upsettingly, it didn't work most of the time, instead shattering the tooth, which had to be picked out of the gums shard by bloody shard.

It was eventually replaced by forceps.

10. Up until the 18th century, it was thought that you could cure toothache by mutilating your ears.

Public Domain / Via

Scarification and cauterising – think burning them with a hot iron – were popular methods. If that didn't work, you were told to pray the toothache away.

11. Dentistry was saved in 1728 by Pierre Fauchard…

Science & Society Picture Library SSPL / Getty Images

… "The father of modern dentists". Not only did he debunk the whole "tooth worms" BS, he made some other quite sane suggestions about sugar causing tooth decay and how to treat cavities.

He, however, loses points for suggesting that everyone gargle with urine every morning and night.

12. Realistic false teeth became popular in the 19th century. / Via

Unfortunately, they were still being made with real human teeth. Wealthier patients could afford to use "live" donors i.e. poor saps who would have their gnashers ripped out for a small sum.

Poorer folk used dead "donors", many of whom had had their teeth ripped out in the morgue. Both practices infected the recipient with diseases such as syphilis and tuberculosis.

16. Dentists weren't commonly registered before the late 19th century, when the UK Royal Dentist Act was passed and the British Dental Association formed.

Public Domain/Wikipedia / Via

Prior to this, you'd probably have your tooth taken out by a barber or a blacksmith – Basically, anyone who had the tools and was physically strong enough.

17. Dentures were used as a dowry as late as the 20th century. / Via

It was so well-accepted that you'd lose your own teeth at some point that some people even went as far as having their teeth extracted for their 21st birthday or as a marriage present, in order to avoid the hassle later on.

Luckily, life has moved on since then. Dentyl Active's two-step formula not only kills bacteria, it removes it, letting you see what you've spat out in the sink.

Find out more about Dentyl Active, and make your mouth happy and your sink sorry!