Today, many of us take for granted modern dentistry and the wide availability of products like tooth brushes, toothpaste and floss. Dentistry dates back centuries, with many ancient societies practicing tooth care and taking care of tooth decay with specially made tools. Sumerian texts dating back to 5000 BC describe tooth worms as the cause of cavities and as people became more knowledgeable, a link was drawn between agricultural societies and tooth decay. In Ancient Greece, scholars like Hippocrates and Aristotle wrote about dentistry, specifically treating gum disease and how to extract teeth with forceps.
Modern dentistry can be credited to French surgeon Pierre Fauchard, who published "Le Chirurgien Dentiste" ("The Surgeon Dentist"), in 1728. This book not only debunked the tooth worm theory, it linked sugar consumption to cavities, introduced modern dental fillings as well as braces to the fields of dentistry.
Despite the many advancements that Fauchard brought to dentistry, the world had a long way to go in embracing tooth health. Around a hundred years ago, less than 7% of Americans brushed their teeth and during WWI dental disease in the military was deemed a national crisis. But, through clever advertising, dental health was brought to the masses. Claude C. Hopkins is credited with creating some of the most successful dentistry campaigns, particularly for Pepsodent. 10 years after Hopkin's first campaign for Pepsodent 65% of American's brushed their teeth on a daily basis, which greatly impacted the overall dental health of soldiers during WWII. Dentistry has made an unexpected appearance in tattooing at some point during the past several decades, with inmates taking apart their electric toothbrushes to make machines.
Today, teeth are not only appreciated by dentists but admired by tattoo collectors and have been recreated in body art throughout multiple styles. In honor of National Dentist's Day, which falls on March 6th, we're curated some of our favorite tooth tattoos from talented artists around the world. Take a peek at the pearly whites in the gallery below, then let us know your thoughts on this story on social media.