If I told you I haven’t been to the dentist in a long ass time, will you hate me and send me to Gingivitis Hell. Or should we just tell dumb British bad teeth jokes?
Anyway, there’s a better chance of me visiting the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore before I get myself a dentist appointment. The museum provides a disturbing and somewhat ugly look at the history of tooth repair, especially with exhibits like “Development of Drills” and “Evolution of Extraction Instruments” that displays a pliers-like device called “The Claw” and lots of “torque wrenches”. I guess we are all pretty lucky to live in the 21st century. I mean, a visitor just has to take one look at the French medical sculptures of grisly “toothworms” gnawing teeth from within to appreciate the modern world. Toothworms were blamed for dental pain for thousands of years, until someone finally figured out the toothworm was in fact “a worm that had entered the victim’s mouth in the cheese he or she had eaten.” I knew cheese was bad for you. Oh, and be happy you’re not using one of the earlier toothbrushes, made of boar hair and bone.
Some famous items in the collection include the teeth and dentures of George Washington, which were made of gold, ivory, lead, human and animal teeth (probably horse or donkey) and not wood as everyone once believed. His choppers sit near the tiny dentures of Mrs. Tom Thumb as well as a regal set of picks and tooth scrapers used on Queen Victoria by her personal dentist (who was later knighted).
A gaping, toothy mouth, “The Tooth Jukebox” which allows visitors to watch old Pepsodent and Ultra Brite TV commercials, is surrounded by hundreds of dental products like packaged toothpastes, toothpicks, mouthwashes, powders and tools. And the museum ends with the importance of teeth…don’t forget if you die in a plane crash or something that dental records will be the only way to identify your corpse. Also don’t forget about the remarkable fluid known as saliva. The average person makes enough spit to fill a soda bottle every single day. Yeah, but does someone have to drink it? Hey, Pepsi! We got a new product for you!