Sunday, October 22, 2017

Candy Canes & Apes

Archaeologists have discovered two teeth from 9.7 million years ago. The teeth belonged to a great ape (can’t a gentler appellation be found for a beings who took such marvelous care of their teeth?). The following is an archaeologist’s description of one of the teeth when asked what an almost 10-million-year-old tooth looks like. “It’s perfectly preserved. It actually looks like a new excellent tooth; however, it’s no longer white. It’s shining like amber.” I can almost imagine these teeth resting on dark velvet in Tiffany’s.

I could have enjoyed several world cruises with the money I’ve spent on dental work over the years – a cap for a tooth broken on a candy cane; several root canals; a bite guard to prevent teeth grinding (TMJ). The last two treated by an orthodontist. His office is the one with the Ferrari parked outside. Great apes didn’t munch candy canes, grind their teeth because of office supervisors or ex-spouses, or have money woes about dental bills but surely, they had other stresses. And yet, their “perfect” and “shining” teeth exist.

Americans spend over $100 billion dollars a year on dental care and we’re still losing our teeth. What dental hygiene secrets did the great apes possess? And more importantly, what toothpaste did they use?

Image: © Marietjie Opperman/

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