Queen Elizabeth’s dental hygiene had unwanted consequences to her teeth
It was Elizabeth I the Tudor Queen of England who had eccentric hygiene habits. Her teeth cleaning routine was the cause for her to lose her teeth.
Hygiene regimes had to be very creative during the Tudor period (1485 -1603). They didn’t have the technology or infrastructure which we have nowadays. They would use local produce that was easily accessible, such as orange peel to scent their bath water or spices to make perfumes.
The Tudors also didn’t have the experience and knowledge that we have today and sometimes they would make what we may consider odd choices. For example, Queen Elizabeth was very particular about her personal hygiene and would only use the most extravagant products from around the world for the best results, such as sugar to clean her teeth. Unfortunately, it was a well-known fact that the Queens teeth where black and rotten. Although, they tried to take care by cleaning them on a regular basis however, it was what they were cleaning them with which was causing the tooth decay.
Luckily this was only a problem for the rich as sugar was too expensive for the average person to use. This means that most people used natural sugars such as those in fruits and honey and even then ate this kind of sugar sparingly. Taken with a diet high in calcium via dairy foods, high in vegetables and cereals and low in foods that cause decay, the average medieval person ate the way most modern dentists would recommend for good teeth.