Monday, 16 May 2005
Teeth via Post
In 18th century London you could order your false teeth via post. All you had to do was get a pice of soft wood, bite into it (thus leaving your teeth marks on it) and send this, together with a ribbon which measured your gums, to the person who made the teeth. After a short wait you would receive your new teeth, which cost around £3 and 4 shillings.
False teeth in those days were not as reliable as the ones you can get nowadays. The dentures were made of wood. If you were lucky enough to only need the bottom set of teeth then you could look forward to a firly firm set of teeth, with which you could eat with as well. On the other hand, if you required the top part, you could look forward to your teeth sliding out at the most inconvenient and embarassing moments. If you needed the whole lot, both top and bottom, there was a solution to this problem by way of a spring attached to the back, holding top and bottom set together and allowing you to open your mouth. However, once you did manage to open your mouth you would have founds it rather difficult to close it as the springs were rather tight. Imagine how awkward this would look in public, the person squeezing their muscles, in order to get their mouth closed...(what a tragedy if a fly was in the area...!).
The actual teeth could be made of a variety of materials. According to your means, they could be made of bone, animal teeth, elephant tusk, agate, or they could even be human teeth...
Posted by Anna at Monday, May 16, 2005