To advertise their services as “tooth-pullers,” these barber-surgeons hung rows of rotten teeth outside their shops. That must have been gruesome.
British surgeon John Hunter penned two important books in this time period, Natural History of Human Teeth (1771 ) and Practical Treatise on the Diseases of the Teeth (1778). In 1763 he entered into a period of collaboration with the London-based dentist James Spence. Hunter theorized the possibility of tooth transplants from one person to another.
|Horse hair toothbrush|
With the desire for better hygiene came the marketing of Toothpaste and powders. These were hyped as not only keeping teeth clean but in a time of rampant Pyorrhoea and scurvy, useful for fastening in those pesky loose teeth. Toothpowder came in a ceramic pot and was available either as a powder or paste. The ingredients could include crushed bones, oyster shells and pumice. The rich applied it with brushes and the poor with their fingers.
1 1/2 oz. cinnamon; and 1 oz. burnt alum.
Beat the above ingredients together and use every second day.
Sources: Dr. Johnson’s London by Liza Picard, and Wikipedia.