Nineteenth Century American women who desired an advanced education (and to work as a professional) fought an uphill battle. As late as the final decade (1890s) cultural beliefs demanded “good” women made home a bit of heaven on earth, toiled only as a help-meet to her husband, and found all the joy and satisfaction there she could possibly need. Historical sources underscore this dated belief system, and set the stage for the challenges faced by my character Dr. Isabella Pattison, DDS, in Isabella’s Calico Groom (within Calico Ball: Timeless Western Collection).
Dentistry in the Old West was dangerous… if a body could find a dentist.
Doc Holliday (of Tombstone and O.K. Corral fame) was a dentist– and a gambler.
Clay Allison attacked his dentist with intent to rip out the doc’s molar–“tooth for tooth.”
Victorian Era Dentistry Advertisements show a great deal about the methods, products, components, and beliefs surrounding oral hygiene in the late 19th century.
Every cowboy knew how to whittle a toothpick from a stick–and did so regularly. But when (and how) did toothpicks become commercialized? What was the earliest dental floss made of?
Oral hygiene in the Old West? Absolutely! What did they use for toothpaste?–homemade or from the mercantile (or catalog)? This article is rich in historical resources about toothpowders, toothpaste, toothbrushes, when they were patented, and what they were made of.