Take a good look at portraits from the Civil War. Ever notice that the soldiers aren’t smiling? The primary reason for that was because it took a long time to expose the film, and it was just as easier for people not to hold a smile. But the smiles probably weren’t that attractive.
Dental care during the Civil War was not as good as it could have been, although soldiers had to undergo an examination to make sure they had enough teeth to eat, and bite the end of a powder cartridge when they had to fire their weapons. The general diet was high in sugars, and the soldiers had even worse diets than civilians.
In fact, the federal government didn’t even issue toothbrushes to their soldiers. If a soldier had a dental problem, he had to find a private dentist on his own time. The soldiers who could afford it carried tooth powder with them. However, most of the time, soldiers scrubbed their teeth with leaves, rags or sticks. During the war, a dentist named Dr. Samuel Stockton White had a meeting with President Lincoln about the dental problems in the army, but nothing ever came of the meeting.
Fortunately for us, we have a better understanding of the importance of dental health. Our dentist, Dr. Michael King can give you a complete cleaning and exam, and address any problems you have. And he doesn’t need permission from the president.
If you don’t want a civil war erupting in your mouth, we’ll be happy to help you in preventing one! If you live in the Burke, Virginia, area, you can call 703-801-6166 to plan your visit to Team Dental at River Oaks and Burke!