Years ago, Honolulu Magazine published photo archives that documented everyday life in early 20th century Honolulu. The collection gave a taste of island life over the past 100 years.
The photo above really caught our eye.
If you’ve ever wondered where you would go to treat a toothache in 1935, here’s your answer. Pictured are several dentists working on patients in the Palama Settlement, which began providing care in 1896.
At the time, Western dentistry had been established for a half century. The first dental office opened in Honolulu in 1847.
It makes us wonder: how did Hawaiians take care of their teeth before the mid-19th century?
It was common for islanders to use ash or charcoal to clean their teeth. Food remnants were removed with a wood and bone toothpick. Cavities and toothaches were treated with the root of the puakala or extracted with an olona cord.
Is your tooth aching for more dental history? Check out this blog!