You know how when you go on vacation, there’s always that one place that stands out as the pinnacle of your trip? Well, today was one of the high points of our vacation for me.
Not long ago, I learned about the existence of a National Museum of Dentistry located in Baltimore, Maryland. Since I’m currently on vacation with my family in Maryland, I thought it would be a great place to visit.
We parked a few blocks away in what appeared to be a rough section of downtown Baltimore. We ran into some interesting people on our way to the National Museum of Dentistry, but once we arrived, it was worth it!
We brought our young children with us and were surprised to find that there were several small exhibits geared toward children. There was a pretend dental office for role playing, an area with many children’s books about visiting the dentist, and a coloring station. With the help of these exhibits, we were able to stay in the museum longer than we might have been able to otherwise.
The museum is relatively small, but the exhibits are fairly comprehensive. There were interesting historical tidbits as well as information about the importance of dental hygiene and avoiding harmful substances. For a dental fanatic like me, this place was intriguing to say the least. Here’s a small sample of the many things that I was able to see today.
Pictures from the National Museum of Dentistry
This friendly looking man above is actually a sculpture (I know, he almost looks real.) Anyways, he was a member of the Bantu Indian tribe in Africa. They used to file down their front teeth in an attempt to look intimidating to those around them.
Here’s a bunch of old toothpaste containers that were on display. It’s interesting to see how far we’ve come in this area.
Supposedly, this dental toy was supposed to inspire young minds to become dentists when they grew up. Perhaps this toy was the reason that there were so many dentists that graduated during the 1970s.
These teeth are replicas of George Washington’s dentures. It turns out that they really weren’t made of wood, but ivory.
Here is a replica of G.V. Black’s dental office. For those of you who aren’t aware, G.V. black is considered the “Father of Modern Dentistry.” I was tempted to jump over the barricade and go put my arm around him for a photo, but he didn’t seem very personable – I couldn’t even get him to crack a smile.
This post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of some fluoride. The photo on the left proves that fluoride is cockroach poison. The upper right photo is a bottle of stannous fluoride that dentists used in the 1950’s in a study. The photo at the bottom left is an at-home water fluoridation unit that households could purchase to fluoridate their own water.
Was the National Museum of Dentistry Worth It?
I really enjoyed the National Museum of Dentistry. I learned a lot and they had a lot of interactive displays that kept me engaged.
You might think that this museum would only be fascinating to someone who works in the dental field, but anyone who enjoys history would probably find it fascinating. So if you’re a history buff, you’d probably enjoy taking a trip to the National Museum of Dentistry if you’re ever in the Baltimore area.
Do you have any questions or comments about the National Museum of Dentistry? Go ahead and leave them in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!