Lifetime Dental Care - February 2018

A LONG AND STORIED GRIN The History of Dentures

Humans have always been social creatures. Long before the development of acrylic plastics and polyvinyl siloxane impressions, our ancestors understood the value of a winning smile. But what was a Roman general to do if some Vandal knocked his teeth out? Dentures have a storied history that goes back longer than you may think. Even back in 700 B.C., people crafted and polished sets of teeth. In the valleys of what is now northern Italy, Etruscan artisans set human and animal teeth in gold bands to act as dentures. This practice was not widespread due to the cost of the raw materials, but it was resilient. After the Etruscan civilization was assimilated into Rome, the technique spread across the empire. In the 1700s, ivory became the preferred base for dentures. Walrus and elephant bones were carved and used as the base on which human and animal teeth were riveted. Contrary to popular belief, George Washington’s dentures were not made of wood. His dentures used hippopotamus ivory, set with human, horse, and donkey teeth, and they were reinforced with gold springs. It was high-class for his time.

As diets changed, so did dentures. The problem with using biological teeth, aside from being rather morbid, is that they decay. In the 19th century, sugar became widely available. The per capita sugar consumption of Industrial England quintupled in just 30 years. Decay of both original and false teeth became a pressing issue, driving the demand for alternative denture designs higher and higher. Porcelain teeth with a hardened rubber base became the new standard until the development of plastic in the 20th century. The jump to plastic was part of a larger revolution in the modern era: the empowerment of the working class. Up until this point, the story of dentures had been gilded in gold and ivory. Only the rich and powerful could afford a rejuvenated smile. The past 100-plus years have made dentures more comfortable, more lifelike, and more affordable — and that is something to smile about.



Hoping to shave off those extra holiday pounds or keep up with your New Year’s resolution? Look no further than this easy winter detox salad!


For the Dressing: •

For the Salad: •

1 large carrot, roughly chopped

3 cups chopped kale leaves

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1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

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2 cups chopped broccoli florets 2 cups chopped red cabbage 1 cup matchstick carrots 1 cup chopped cilantro 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon white miso 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil Salt and pepper, to taste

1/3 cup sliced green onions

1 diced avocado

DIRECTIONS 1. To make the salad, add all ingredients to a large bowl; toss to combine. 2. To make the dressing, add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper or add extra honey for a sweeter taste. 3. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve immediately.

Recipe inspired by


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