National Toothache Day, which falls on February 9, serves as a kind reminder of the benefits and overall importance of dental hygiene. Toothaches, scientifically known as odontalgia, are exactly what they sound like, the pain generated from either one or multiple teeth. A toothache can make it difficult to eat, sleep, or sometimes even talk. While they are not worth celebrating, we all can hear up the ways to stop them for good.
History of National Toothache Day
While the origins of National Toothache Day are not clear, the unofficial holiday serves to remind people that looking out for your own oral well-being is of utmost importance to live a happy, healthy, and long life.
However, the history of the science that does tackle toothaches does go a bit farther. Dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions, with evidence being found as far back as 7000 BC. However, it wasn’t until 5000 B.C. that descriptions related to diseases related to teeth were discovered.
By the eighteenth century, dentistry had become a more defined and refined profession, reaching an important cornerstone when Pierre Fauchard, a French surgeon, published his influential book, The Surgeon Dentist, a Treatise on Teeth, which defined a comprehensive system for caring for and treating teeth, up to implementing dental fillings and discovering that sugar was a major factor in tooth decay.
In 1859, twenty-six dentists met in Niagara Falls, New York to form an overseeing entity they deemed the American Dental Association, ADA, composed of a national representative organization of dentists dedicated to encouraging high professional standards and scientific research, as well as trying to reach the general population about the importance of dental hygiene.
In 1873, Colgate had mass-produced the first toothpaste, and mass-produced toothbrushes followed suit, assuring everyone had some sort of access to tooth-cleaning products. However, good brushing habits were not mainstream in America until after the end of World War II, when soldiers stationed abroad brought the concept of proper dental hygiene back to their home country, and now, between straightening, whitenings, and much more processes, people give their teeth the attention they deserve.