One of our favorite things to do here as an office at Gentle Dentistry is research what oral health has been like in different time periods of history. The reason we started doing this is because you would be surprised at the number of questions dental implant provider Drs. Spector and Migdal get from their patients here in Haworth, NJ concerning what dentistry was like in days long since passed.
Due to the frequency with which we hear questions related to this topic, it has become an office-wide tradition to save and share any article, web page post, or tidbit of information involving historical dental trivia. Today, in the spirit of having a little fun, we thought we would share some trivia about one of our favorite time periods in dental history. Now, the reason we like this time period so much is not because people were ahead of their time or practiced surprisingly good oral health habits but rather because they were so poor.
Let’s take a closer look at some fun but gross facts about the oral health of one famous 16th-century historical figure you might recognize – Queen Elizabeth I.
Queen Elizabeth Ate Sugar with Every Meal
This is a fact that not many people know about Queen Elizabeth I. during this time in history sugar was an exotic luxury being imported from colonies across the ocean. This made it wildly expensive and something that only the wealthy could afford or indulge in. In other words, sugar was a status symbol in 16th century England. This meant that the more sugar you were able to eat and serve displayed how high up in society’s ranks you were.
As you might well imagine, the above-mentioned facts meant that royalty would have an unchecked access to all the sugar they want. Queen Elizabeth was famously fond of sweets and she could have as much sugar as she wanted. She became so fond of sweet things that she demanded they be served with every meal she had.
Queen Elizabeth had Black Teeth
There are various historical records that depict Queen Elizabeth as having teeth that were black. This was without a doubt due to decay and rot. However, the more interesting part about this fact is that because of Queen Elizabeth’s status in society, having black teeth became a fashion statement.
During her reign, the queen was the epitome of fashion and glamor. Whatever she wore was considered to be the most fashionable attire and how she styled her hair was how all the other women in court modeled their hair styles after. So, when it became known that the queen’s teeth were black, women at court began to color their teeth black with soot and anything else that would stain teeth. How’s that for backward logic in comparison with today?
We hope you enjoyed this little waltz back in time with us.
Until next time readers, keep smiling and keep brushing your teeth!