|View at Library of Congress|
As Isabella has previously noted, preserving teeth was far from easy. False teeth were common—among those who could afford them—as were interesting combinations of sensible and bizarre dental advice, like the following:
To ensure sound teeth to a good old age, it is absolutely proper to begin from early youth by cleaning them regularly every morning. The durability of teeth depends upon the thickness of the enamel, which should never be rubbed too long with powder of any sort, as the constant repetition of it very sensibly wears it, which will grow thin and be rendered unable of long withstanding the relentless corroding influence of time.
The teeth, which consume more by night than by day, should be rinsed well with water and a soft brush previous to going to bed. This disperses the vegetable and animal matter that after meals is apt to get into the interstices of the teeth, and there corrupts; which, though not felt then, gradually lays the foundation of decay.
|View at Yale Center for British Art|
—The Whole Art of Dress! 1830
(the full excerpt is here at the Internet Archive)
Illustration top left courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Illustration lower right,
|Rowlandson, Taunting with Smoke from a Pipe, courtesy Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. Clicking on the captions will allow you to read at the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.|