100 years ago, one in two adult North Americans had no teeth. Today, that rate is only one in ten senior citizens. The reason why so many have teeth is because of the quality of American dental care. Not only has American dental care advanced, but American dental care has been treated as a public good, and permeates all of our lives.
American dental care had a long history of getting to where it is today. Every culture worried about teeth. The Greeks and Romans washed around grounded bone and oyster shell for occasional teeth cleaning. A Chinese sage invented the toothbrush around 1500, made with boar bristles and horse hair. It was not for another three hundred years, though, until tooth brushes entered mass production.
American dental care really advanced starting around the 1900, as the Progressive movement took off. Children, seen at grave risk of missing teeth, were given universal dental care by many philanthropists, such as George Eastman. When they grew up, the U.S. government required municipalities to fluoridate water. Fluoride is known to strengthen teeth against cavities, and is not used in harmful levels.
Today, dental care america offers is more sophisticated than ever. A small army of dentists annually inspect the teeth of most Americans, while dental hygienists keep teeth clean. American dental care also involves the education of proper teeth care. Millions of Americans now brush, floss, and rinse daily, and remove any harmful debris from teeth. Many are also aware that certain foods, such as sugars, can promote cavities. Lower smoking rates also help, too.
With the twins of better professionals and greater education, American dental care has soared to new heights. In a generation, we may never even know of cavities again. That would be beneficial not just for us, but for proving the superiority of American dental care.