How to Care For Your Teeth, 1613

engraving of grim dentist and patient L. van Leyden, A Tooth Drawer, 1523 Wellcome Library

To keepe and preserve the teeth cleane. First if they bee very yellow and filthie, or blackish, let a Barber scoure, rubbe, and picke them cleane, and white, then after to maintaine them cleane, it shalbe very good to rub them every day with the roote of a Mallow, and to picke them cleane that no meate remaine and putrifie betweene the teeth.

Item, take of the small white pibble stones which bee found by the water sides, and beate them in very small powder, hereof take an ounce, and of Masticke one dramme, mingle them togeather, and with this powder once in xiiii daies rub exactly your teeth, and this shall keepe your teeth fayre and white: but beware yee touch not, ne vexe the gummes therewithall.

Item, to stable and stedfast the teeth, and to keepe the gummes in good case, it shall be very good every day in the morning, to wash well the mouth with red Wine.

Thomas Raynalde, The Byrth of Mankinde

If anyone asks about your breakfast wine, just say it’s for your dental hygiene.