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Ancient Toothpick: Cavemen Cleaned Their Teeth, Research Shows

Dec 20, 2016 12:15 PM EST

Scientists are baffled why many bodies discovered of primitive men showed quite healthy teeth even in their old age. In their search for answers, newfound evidence showed that cavemen actually took care of their mouths and used toothpick-like sticks to clean their teeth.

Scientists analyzed fossilized tartar on primitive humans' teeth to figure out what kind of food was consumed at the time. As reported by Tech Times, there were certain plants that had been consumed, and ancient humans ate raw meat. Most of the teeth discovered from early humans also showed signs of heavy use, indicating that their teeth had been used to chew different kinds of food.

Cavemen did not brush their teeth; that is a fact. However, a small trace of unusual substance was also found in early human teeth. Scientists were surprised to see small traces of wood in between their teeth, an indication that early humans may have used toothpick-like sticks to clean their teeth.

Toothbrushes were non-existent at the time, so we are not really expecting pearly whites from our ancestors. However, scientists claim that ancient humans have better and healthier teeth than modern men do.

On a different note, Smithsonian Magazine reported that the shift of prehistoric man's diet from meat to farmed carbohydrates may have changed the overall health of our mouths. As man transitioned from hunting to gathering and farming, disease-causing bacteria in the mouth have been more prevalent than what is known as healthy bacteria.

Cavemen were in a diet now called "Paleo diet," a load up on meat, vegetables, and seasonal fruit. The presence of more grains in our diet makes our teeth unhealthier compared when our ancestors had fewer options for food. On top of that, they were also leaner and more agile. Apparently, some studies show that it is all about having the right bacteria in our mouth.

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