If you are dealing with a toothache, you might be looking for home remedies to cure it rather than make a trip to the dentist. The truth is that although there are some home cures for toothaches out there, they’re all about as effective as the old-time superstitions that people used to rely on to prevent or eliminate toothaches.
Superstitions for Preventing Toothaches
Before we really understood what causes toothaches, there were many explanations for why they occurred and how to prevent them. One of the most persistent myths about toothaches dates all the way back to some of the earliest writings, and it concerns the existence of a “tooth worm” that would burrow into the teeth. Toothaches were also commonly attributed to curses or witchcraft, which, if you’ve had one recently, you can certainly understand: they’re evil!
With supernatural explanations about the causes of toothaches, people took to creating small charms to protect themselves.
One common charm was to carry a bag or handful of horse’s teeth. Others would use a specific ritual to prevent toothache. Some said that putting your left sock on first would prevent a toothache, unless it were the dog days of summer, in which case, the order reversed.
Others said that it was your shoe that could cause a toothache. Removing the left shoe first was sure to cause a toothache.
Of course, it could be when you clipped your fingernails. Clipping your fingernails on Friday was said to cause a toothache, and shaving on a Sunday could, too.
And if you were eating when a funeral bell tolled, you’d definitely get a headache.
Superstitions for Curing Toothaches
And once the spirits gave you a headache, you had to do something special to eliminate your headaches.
One easy solution is to just spit out a piece of bread near an anthill. If the ants take the bread, they will take your pain, too. Or if that seems too simple, take a clotch handkerchief and fold it over six time. Then blow through it three times. Finally, rub your hand over your face nine times.
If that seems too complex, try jumping through a window. Only, make sure the window’s open–and not too high up, or you’ll have more than a toothache to worry about!
And if you find yourself in Nepal, you can try out the toothache tree, Vaisha Dev. Supposedly, if you nail a coin to the tree, your headache will be cured.
Amusing for Children, but Not Effective
Maybe the distraction of these stories will serve to keep your mind off the pain for a while, but otherwise these remedies are useless.
But we have proven methods for preventing and treating toothaches that are scientifically proven. At regular checkups, we can clean hardened plaque (tartar) from your teeth to make it easier for your teeth to stay clean. This decreases your risk of gum disease and tooth decay, two of the most common causes of toothache (although a surprising number are caused by TMJ). We can also use dental sealants for adults or children to help them avoid decay.
With dental fillings and crowns, we can repair teeth that have decayed. And, if necessary, a root canal can be used to remove the sensitive nerve inside the tooth, so you’ll never have a toothache there again.