Back in the days of the Wild West, hygiene wasn’t a priority, but cowboys, townspeople, and natives alike all still realized the necessity of preserving their bodies to the best of their abilities. While it was a struggle, they came up with many innovative techniques.

Learning often came by practice, and many misfounded theories were cleared up, paving the way to more breakthroughs founded on scientific evidence. While the original thoughts and practices may have been a shot in the dark, you’d be stunned to learn how these people got to buy and improved hygiene as we now know it…

Families Would Use The Same Bath Water

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Water heaters weren’t exactly common housing components during the 1800s, so it took a lot of work to heat water for baths. As such, most families simply bathed one at the same time, one right after the other, rather than go through the hassle of heating water and filling the tub numerous times. The oldest always went first starting with the grandparents, so you can imagine how gross that water must have been after a good half-dozen people used it.

Fun fact: the phrase “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” stemmed from this common practice.

Dentists Thought That Worms Caused Toothaches

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In a time before dental floss and mouthwash were invented, tooth decay was incredibly common; enough that when people began complaining of massive toothaches, physicians believed that the culprits were worms that had burrowed into the teeth. To combat these pesky tooth worms, they would fan candle smoke directly into patients’ mouths to create a less worm-friendly environment.

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