Now that it seems like everything has been invented, it’s hard to imagine a time when inventiveness and ingenuity ruled the land. Mass production of anything was hard to come by, let alone toothbrushes and toothpaste.
But don’t worry; our ancestors had plenty of options when it came to preventing bad breath. While today our options may be easier and more appealing – without the ancient form, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
So what did our ancestors use?
Tuft of Pine Needles
Grab a tuft of pine needles, and give your teeth a good scrubbing. The needles leave your breath piney fresh, and if you chew them a little, you’ll also be getting a few milligrams of Vitamin C. Pine needles can be toxic in certain animals, but only if swallowed in large amounts.
Pounded Hardwood Twig
Native Americans were well documented in their historic use of pounded hardwood twigs as toothbrushes. Dogwood, Oak and Maple were just a few of the non-toxic hardwood varieties in use 300 to 400 years ago. These twig toothbrushes were so common in fact, that they were widely used among the colonists of Virginia.
To make a twig toothbrush, simply cut a green twig about the diameter of a pencil and just as long. Pound the end of the twig with a clean, smooth rock. Then chew the punded end for a minute to moisten and soften the bristles; and finally, brush away.
You can even bend the end of the twig at a 90 degree angle to get the backs of your teeth as well, which is a trick you cannot do with the pine needles.
Make sure you skip potentially poisonous twigs like Mountain Laurel, Rhododendron, Black Locust, Yew, Buckeye and Horse chestnut.
So there you have it. What do you think about the early history of clean teeth?