Many Vikings used picks to clean the gaps between their teeth, and some historian believes they may have also used fibrous hazel twigs and similar tools as a kind of brush. The Viking skeletons discovered over the decades have usually had relatively strong teeth too.
For the most part, men, women and children brushed their teeth daily, either with a miswak, a cloth, their fingers or leaves. The Vikings had been the early advocates of personal hygiene, encouraging the use of combs and the act of washing.
It was both a symbol of pride and a way to scare enemies – because the teeth carvings were likely dyed (probably with red). This body modification probably made them even more terrifying. The marks are so well made that a person of great skill most likely filed them.
Vikings were known for their excellent hygiene.
Excavations of Viking sites have turned up tweezers, razors, combs and ear cleaners made from animal bones and antlers. Vikings also bathed at least once a week—much more frequently than other Europeans of their day—and enjoyed dips in natural hot springs.
The first toothbrush that Egyptians actually used were made by splitting the frayed end of a wooden twig, while in China, they chewed on twigs to clean and freshen their breath. In the 1400s, Chinese invented the first ever-natural soft-bristle toothbrush using hogs' necks.
One week without brushing:
As soon as a week goes by, your teeth' enamel will start to break down. The plaque that hasn't been removed will make it easy for bad breath to grow. A dirty tooth will make it hard to clean.
"Australian indigenous populations' diet would often be quite abrasive with particles of dirt and sand in food," Dr Aldritt adds. "They did show more wear and tear on their teeth from abrasion but they didn't experience as much tooth decay. They also used kangaroo tendons to clean between their teeth."
The bras were often made of metal and until now scientists had thought they were used as collar-bone protection. But it is now clear these pads were worn much further down by female Vikings, according to the work in Birka, Sweden's oldest Viking centre.
Description: The waterlogged areas of the excavation at Whithorn uncovered preserved 'sheets' of moss, which had been discarded. Closer analysis revealed them to be studded with fragments of hazel nut shells, and blackberry pips.
Viking teeth were often subject to a great deal of wear, which is largely attributed to their diet. Study of the skeletal remains of Vikings has also shown evidence that they suffered from periodontal disease and tartar buildup.
Vikings used a type of eyeliner known as kohl which was a dark-colored powder made of crushed antimony, burnt almonds, lead, oxidized copper, ochre, ash, malachite and chrysocolla. It helped keep the harsh glare of the sun from damaging one's eyesight while also increasing the dramatic sex appeal of the wearer.
According to scholars, Vikings commonly washed their hair and beards using a soap containing lye. This soap served two purposes. It helped to keep Vikings clean and wash away the dirt, blood, and other messes which built up during escapades.
They were even known to bite their own shields out of pure rage. The berserkers were dangerous warriors and the sagas describe how they could sometimes form whole combat groups that fought in the same bloodthirsty manner.
Natural Toothcare. Native Americans cleaned their teeth by using chewsticks and chewing on fresh herbs to cleanse their teeth and gums.
Before modern-day toothpaste was created, pharmacists mixed and sold tooth cream or powder. Early tooth powders were made from something abrasive, like talc or crushed seashells, mixed with essential oils, such as eucalyptus or camphor, thought to fight germs.
The ancient peoples' diet consisted a large part of fibrous foods. Fibrous foods are great for digestion, but also help to keep our teeth healthy and clean. They do this by aiding in flushing away food debris from the surface of the teeth.
Between the two brooches there was often a string of beads. Under her strap dress the woman wore an undergarment or smock. Research shows that Danish Viking women preferred plain undergarments, whilst Swedish Viking women wore pleated ones.
Beds were most likely lined with straw and animal skin. However, some historians believe that the Vikings actually slept sitting up with their backs against the wall given the limited and confined space that was available on the benches.
What time did Vikings go to bed? So in winter, they would have gone to sleep around 6pm, gone up to eat from midnight to 2am and then woken up around 8am. In summer you would have slept from midnight to 4am at most, if at all.
Viking women neither shaved their underarms nor wore the strapless bustiers. The Vikings did not wear horned helmets as shown in the film.
They used tightly-rolled softened wool as a sort of tampon. These spread throughout the Roman Empire because they were affordable and comfortable and required less clean-up than a pad did. The Byzantines continued to use them well into the 14th century before converting almost completely to the belt.
However, experts believe Vikings were quite large, muscular people, capable of striking fear into the hearts of their enemies as a result of their strength and size. The physical build of the Vikings was likely to be somewhat similar to our own, but with significantly more mass and muscle.
Believe it or not, most of the world's population, in particular indigenous cultures and developing countries, still use old-world techniques to keep their teeth clean, or they don't use any at all. It is only common in the U.S. and other developed countries that use nylon and electronic toothbrushes.
Victorian Oral Hygiene & Dental Decay
Most people cleaned their teeth using water with twigs or rough cloths as toothbrushes. Some splurged on a “tooth-powder” if they could afford it. Sugar became more widely distributed, thus contributing to an increase in tooth decay during this time period.