The royal role in advancing the field of dentistry
A Royal History of Smiles
As far back as ancient Egypt, royalty was known to prioritize oral hygiene. Records show that Pharaohs would have their teeth cleaned with a blend of pumice, wine vinegar, and burnt eggshells. The ancient Greeks also believed in the importance of oral health and credited Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, with introducing dental treatments.
However, it wasn’t until the 17th and 18th centuries that dentistry really became a prestigious profession among royalty. This was a time of great advancement in dentistry, with the first dental instrument maker opening shop in Paris and Pierre Fauchard, a French physician credited with founding modern dentistry, publishing “Le Chirurgien Dentiste,” which laid the foundation for the study of dentistry.
The British royal family played a significant role in advancing the field of dentistry during this time. King George III was known for his love of dentistry and helped promote it as a legitimate profession. His wife, Queen Charlotte, also encouraged oral hygiene among her children and staff. In fact, it was Charlotte who first introduced the toothbrush to England after seeing one on a trip to France.
Even today, dentistry remains important to royalty. It was said that the late Queen Elizabeth II herself visited the dentist twice a year to keep her teeth in perfect shape and even gave one of her dental tools as a gift to the National Army Museum.
The younger generation of royals, like Prince William and Kate Middleton, have also been very vocal about the importance of dental health. The couple often speaks about their love for regular flossing and brushing, and the fact that they have never had a cavity in their life.
Prince Harry is an ambassador for Sentebale, a charity focused on improving healthcare in Lesotho, and has helped raise funds for dental clinics in the area.
Given such commitment to oral health, we can expect some dazzling smiles at the coronation of King Charles this weekend.
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