Canva - Closeup and Selective Focus Photography of Toothbrush With Toothpaste
river oaks dental logo transparent

Did Cavemen Brush Their Teeth?

Oral health has been a concern for centuries, even before we understood our teeth.

Today’s advancements in technology have allowed oral hygiene care and home routines to evolve. Advancements in research and education have also helped dental professionals gain extensive knowledge to better serve their patients.

If cavemen, or early humans, didn’t have access to toothbrushes and dental offices, how did they take care of their teeth?


Cavemen were known to be hunter-gatherers. Their food sources were mainly raw foods like meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Cavemen were limited to the amount of dairy and grains they ate. Grains became more popular only once humans learned how to farm. Cavemen also did not have access to sugary snacks and chocolates. Carbohydrates found in grains and sugar are known to cause cavities. This is because carbs create the perfect environment for bacteria in your mouth.

Hygiene Routines

Even though cavemen lived a rather healthy lifestyle and were limited on what they could eat, they were still prone to tooth decay. Cavemen did not have proper education and were never taught the importance of brushing your teeth. They didn’t quite understand how their teeth worked but they knew they had to do something about them!

Cavemen did not have toothbrushes or paste like we do today. Instead, they got creative and used what they could find around them. They chewed on sticks to help remove plaque built up on their teeth. The also used feathers or grass blades to get in between teeth, like how we use floss today.

So, did cavemen get cavities?

Yes! Just like humans today, cavemen were susceptible to tooth decay and tooth loss. Their teeth also went through more stressor than teeth today face, mainly because they were eating tougher and uncooked foods. This caused lots of wear to the tooth surface, sometimes to the point where loss of tooth structure was inevitable.

Our distant ancestors are not as different from us as you’d think! Based off their creativity in finding ways to care for their teeth, it’s likely cavemen would have been willing to visit the dentist had they had access to one. If you’re due for a dental visit, click here learn more about River Oaks Dental or call us at 904-348-0416 to schedule an appointment.


Skip to content