Why You Need Braces but Ancient Humans Didn’t

Date: 2021-01-24 03:00:02


Our teeth can be kind of a pain, but luckily, it’s 2020, we can fix them, keep them clean, and get rid of a toothache with one visit to the dentist. But imagine life thousands of years ago, no toothpaste, no floss, toothbrushes, mouthwash, no braces… Their teeth must’ve been terrible!

Or not? Those dentist words: cavities, plaque…they didn’t exist back then. Let’s get in our BrightSide time-machine and go back a bit. Ancient people ate tough meat, cracking open nuts, chewing some tasty tree bark… Their teeth helped them survive in wild and harsh conditions. They were not indestructible, but their unique structure was hard to beat. What do we eat in 2020? Soft patties, pasta, pizza, you get the picture. That stuff’s worse for your teeth than anything your ancestors were eating! Even more surprising: our squishy modern diet has made our mouths shrink!


CC BY-SA 3.0 :
“Broken Hill Skull” from Kabwe, Zambia (replica, Museum Mauer, near Heidelberg, Germany): By Gerbil,
Neanderthal skull from Forbes’ Quarry, Gibraltar. Discovered 1848: By AquilaGib,
CC BY-SA 4.0 :
The skeleton of an Australopithecus sediba at the Natural History Museum in London, England: By Emőke Dénes,
The cranium of Malapa hominid 1 (MH1) from South Africa, named “Karabo”: By Brett Eloff,
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