Avast, me hearties! Today – September 19 – is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. To celebrate, we thought we’d have a little fun here at Dr. Dental.
Look in any child’s picture book and you will see that pirates are always depicted with crooked or missing teeth. But why do pirates have bad teeth? Our East Coast dental experts outline three reasons below:
1. They lacked the modern toothbrush.
The Golden Age of Piracy was from the 1650s to the 1730s, and the modern toothbrush wasn’t invented until 1938. While sailing the ocean, pirates used a “chew stick” to attempt to keep their teeth free of plaque, but of course, it didn’t help much. Today, we can roam the toothbrush aisle for an hour to ensure we pick the perfect one for our mouths.
2. Scurvy is real.
The term scurvy is more than a derogatory adjective. It’s a real disease caused by a lack of vitamin C and it can cause severely receding gums. Because pirates were out to sea for months at a time, they often lacked fresh fruits and vegetables, so with receding gums, their teeth would often fall out. Shiver me timbers!
The problem with scurvy got so bad that the very best of the British Navy worked until they found a solution. Eventually, it was discovered that sailors going ashore and eating native fruits were healing quickly.
3. They didn’t have check-ups, or dentists for that matter!
When a tooth hurt, a shipmate simply (and painfully) pulled it. People these days would probably prefer to walk the plank!
Thankfully, times have changed, but the next time you feel like singing “Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate’s life for me,” you may want to re-consider…for the sake of your teeth!
There is no better way to keep teeth clean than good oral care — including annual exams and cleanings by Dr. Dental. Schedule an appointment online with us today!
Our family-owned dental offices are proud to bring affordable smiles to all ages at convenient locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island.