Health | Retro | Vintage

These Dental Practices Of The Past Will Make Your Teeth Hurt Just Thinking About Them

Modern medicine is quite the gift, especially when you realize it was not that long ago that people used to treat mental illnesses with lobotomies. Scientific advances have changed everything we do, from the way we communicate to the way we work and especially in how we treat our teeth.

Check out this list of strange but true medical practices that happened in the past and maybe next time you won't dread the dentist as much.


Children's Soothing Syrup helped with those fussy babies

Who has the time to deal with a teething baby? These soothing syrups contained different items to "soothe" the child. Like "morphin sulphate, chloroform, morphine hydrochloride, codeine, herion, powdered opium, cannabis indica" and sometimes a combination of a few. Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup had 65 mg of pure morphine in it. That is a pretty good chunk for a teething baby!

Cutting Teeth had a different meaning


Have you heard the expression "cutting teeth" before? Parents usually say that of their children when they are teething, but in France in the 16 century it meant something very different. When babies teeth would start to come through the gums, a doctor would use a scalpel to slice the gums open and give the teeth room to come out. It still happened up until the 20 century even though it may have caused a lot of infections and even death.

Cocaine toothache drops existed

Instantaneous cure! Of course it was. The drug was used as an anesthetic and was used in several different items like drops, lozenges and even wine. They realized after patients started to form addictions to the drug that it wasn't safe and developed a weaker drug: Novocaine.

Dead Mouse Paste was something that people put in their mouths.


Ancient Egyptians believed that if they mashed a mouse they could use it to cure a toothache if applied directly to the painful spot. Or maybe just the gross taste was distracting them. Those annoying dentist appointments don't sound so bad now do they?

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