King Johns Teeth On Display!

13th October 2012

After you’ve booked an appointment with a dentist in Manchester, why not head to the British Library in London to see how the teeth of today compare with those from the 13th century.

Two molars, thought to have been taken from King John’s tomb by an apprentice back in 1797, will be displayed alongside two copies of the Magna Carta, which the monarch granted in 1215.

It will form part of an exhibition to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the charter, due to open on March 13th, with a thumb bone thought to have also once belonged to King John also to be put on display.

“John’s tomb at Worcester Cathedral was opened for a brief period in 1797, and certain body parts removed as souvenirs … by William Wood, a stationer’s apprentice,” curator Julian Harrison was quoted by the BBC as saying.

Dental hygiene has certainly come a long way since the 13th century. Around that time, it was thought that rinsing the mouth out with wine would help keep teeth white and gums clean, while chewing parsley, lovage or fennel was thought to be beneficial as well.

Later on, around the 16th century, rosemary would be burned and the coals then powdered up, before being put in a cloth to rub the teeth with.

Your qualified dentist will probably advise you not to give these traditional methods of teeth-cleaning a go. After all, when you’ve got fluoride toothpaste and electric toothbrushes at your disposal, why not go with the mod-cons?