Then & Now: How modern dentistry makes oral health easier than ever

We are certainly well past the ancient Sumerians’ belief in tooth worms or the days when fillings were made from beeswax. When it comes to oral health, we’ve never had it so good.

On the frontline of oral health is daily cleaning. Tube toothpaste came along in the 1880s; prior to that you would’ve gotten a homemade paste or powder from your dentist. Then, nylon toothbrushes were introduced in 1938— the forerunner of today’s toothbrush— and fluoride toothpastes followed in 1950; electric toothbrushes were introduced in the 1980s. Today’s annual dental checkups are that much better because it’s easier than ever to attend to your oral health at home!

Our teeth still have problems, however, so we are lucky we have the benefits of modern dentistry when compared with the days when you got a haircut, a shave and your tooth pulled at your local barbershop. For instance, Erbium YAG lasers have been in use now for 15 years for cleaning and tooth decay, creating a much more pleasant experience for the patient. Likewise, bridges and dentures are also miles ahead of those from the past, which were created out of wood, ivory or bone; like those of our first President, George Washington, for example. Even better are dental implants, a modern procedure that actually fuses the artificial tooth to the jawbone, creating a genuine look and feel, and results in a healthier mouth and smile.



Word of Mouth is sponsored by Midtown Dental.

BIO: Dr. William Nerestant, DDS received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the University of Detroit/Mercy School of Dentistry in Michigan. After serving and being recognized for his meritorious service in the Air Force as an officer in the Dental Corps, he currently serves patients at Midtown Dental in Lakeland. For more information, visit or call 863-226-0987.

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