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Darwin Dentistry Part 4

A period in our history called “The Long 19th Century” (1750-1914) brought many changes in daily life, mostly focusing on women, infants and children.  Men had traditionally been the providers that operated outside the “home” as hunter/gatherers or simply working the ground as agriculture started to take hold as a means for sustainable food sources.  For women this new era boring with it a migration from the traditional agrarian and cottage lifestyles for work in the textile mills and upper-class urban families. 

The transition from manual labor to the new machine based manufacturing economy during this era led to mass migrations to of human population to the cities; increasing income and living standards as the explosion of post-industrial population took off.  Traditional roles of women and children changed dramatically.

This change in living during this era also changed the food sources to calorie-rich and inexpensive soft starchy foods were viewed as a modern miracle.  Babies were no longer breastfed like they were in the past and instead given low nutrient cereal based gruel.  By the end of the 19th century babies were given animal based milks instead of breast milk with newly invented rubber nipples.  This trend took hold in modern families forever changing the way we view food, time, and resources.

In the last installment of this four-part series, we’ll discuss and recap the effect this has had long term on our dental development and how we might reverse this trend with a holistic approach to dentistry.