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Posts for tag: Dental History

By Babcock & Morgan Family Dental
December 18, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dental History  

Did you know? For hundreds of years people sealed their teeth by blackening them! The process was known as “ohaguro,” and it was performed mostly in Japan during the Kofun period, all the way through the Meiji period (about 250 to 1912).

People made the dye by dissolving iron in vinegar, then combining the solution in tea powder. This turned the dye black and non-water soluble, so that drinking water could not wash away the stain. And, as unconventional as people today might find this practice, the dye actually did prevent tooth and enamel decay.

The practice of dyeing one’s teeth served several functions in Japanese society during the Edo era. Westerners who travelled to Japan around this time thought that the dye served to promote chastity among married women. Theoretically, dyed gums and teeth made women less attractive. Other social scientists believe that ohaguro was a ritual that Japanese women consented to in order to note their maturity and responsibility as a married woman and mother, and that it was regarded as mark of beauty by most of the population.

Ohaguro vs. Modern Dentistry

Obviously, modern dentistry has come a long way in the last few decades. As effective as ohaguro may have been for its time, modern dentistry has made incredible strides since the Meiji period in preventing tooth decay!

Today, you have friendly dentists like the ones at Babcock & Morgan Family Dental to help you keep your teeth safe from disease and decay. To learn more about dentistry in the Prior Lake, MN area, call (952) 447-4611 today!