I had some minor oral surgery this afternoon, so I’m wondering when I’ll eat solid foods again and if I can survive entirely on soft ice cream until then.
To take my mind off my own teeth, I did some poking around among other people’s teeth. This advertisement appeared in the Boston Post-Boy on 30 June 1766:
John Baker,In other words, this dentist made house calls.
Operator for the Teeth, &c.
Begs Leaves to acquaint the Gentry, that he is now in Boston, at Mr. Joshua Brackett’s in S[c]hool Street, and will wait on them, on receiving their Commands.
He cures the Scurvey in the Gums, first cleanes and scales the Teeth, from that Corrosive, Tartarous, Gritty Substance which hinders the Gums from Growing, infects the Breath, and is one of the principal Causes of the Scurvey, and by degrees (if not timely prevented) eats away the Gums, so that many Peoples Teeth fall out Fresh.Of course we must ask: if Dr. Baker had such a busy and wealthy clientele in Europe, why was he trying his fortunes in a distant colony?
He fills up with Lead or Gold those that are hollow (so as to render them useful) and prevents the Air getting into them, which aggravates the Pain.
He makes and fixes Artificial Teeth, with the greatest Exactness and Nicety, so that they may eat, drink, and sleep with them in their Mouths as natural ones, from which it cannot be discovered by the sharpest Eye.
He having given sufficient Proof of his Superior Judgment in this Art, to the principal Nobility, Gentry and others, of Great-Britain, France & Ireland, and other principal Places in Europe.
Baker also had a toothpaste or tooth-powder to sell, and it seems to do all that modern toothpastes promise and more:
His Dentifrice, which is free from any corrosive Preparation will restore the Gums to their pristine State, will preserve the Teeth, and render them perfectly white, will fasten those that are loose, and prevent them from further decay.Baker then went on to list many items of jewelry that he had brought from London to sell.
N.B. His Dentifrice may be had at his Lodgings at ONE DOLLAR each Pot, with proper Directions.
TOMORROW: Baker tries out some other colonies.