Song of Songs 4:2

When reading Song of Songs, the second part of the above verse made me laugh.  It seems to me that the author was very glad that the one described didn’t have any teeth gone.  The one described evidently had every tooth and they were very white.  This suggests to me that they thought dental care was important back then.

Most of us go to a dentist on a routine basis, but what was dental care like long ago?  To get some history, I brought up a Wikipedia entry which said,

“A Sumerian text from 5000 BC describes a “tooth worm” as the cause of dental caries.[20] Evidence of this belief has also been found in ancient India, Egypt, Japan, and China…and as late as the 14th century AD the surgeon Guy de Chauliac still promoted the belief that worms cause tooth decay…In ancient Egypt, Hesi-Re is the first named “dentist” (greatest of the teeth)…During the Middle Ages and throughout the 19th century, dentistry was not a profession in itself, and often dental procedures were performed by barbers or general physicians…It was between 1650 and 1800 that the science of modern dentistry developed…The French surgeon Pierre Fauchard became known as the “father of modern dentistry”…He introduced dental fillings as treatment for dental cavities. He asserted that sugar derivate acids like tartaric acid were responsible for dental decay…”

For a Biblical perspective, I found an answer to what dental care was like back then at answers.yahoo.com:

they would have used only figures or neem tree twigs. Those days teeth were very strong & they use high fiber diet which would self clean the teeth.”

Taking care of our teeth is so important.  If you already have good dental habits, keep up the good work!

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