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Wellcome Image of the Month: Toothville

8 Apr, 2011

N0036264 Tooth whitening

Welcome to the world of Toothville! Our image of the month is a photograph of the miniature world where tiny builders, decorators and cleaners maintain strong, healthy teeth the size of cars.

Dr Ian Davis, a dentist in North London, has combined his love of photography and dentistry to create Toothville. His aim is to promote good dental health in a child-friendly, quirky way. The images of little cleaners, painters and even scuba divers set around real dental models remind us to look after our teeth – an especially important message around Easter when chocolate is a big temptation.

In our featured photograph, the gummi bears represent excess sugar, and the workers of Toothville are fending off this “attack”. Dr Davis says, “Inappropriate sugar consumption is the most common reason for poor dental health, and frequent ingestion of sugary, sticky sweets is the source of cavities in children as young as four.” Cavities are holes in the tooth caused by acid-producing bacteria that live off sugar. Cavities can lead to pain, tooth loss and infection.

Dr Davis explains that cavities can be prevented and even healed with an army of tools available to us, including brushing, flossing, fluoride and the newer mineral-containing toothpastes. As long as teeth are properly cared for, the occasional slice of cake, or a couple of biscuits with tea, is not a problem. This is the message Toothville carries, born of Dr Davis’s passion for preventative and minimally invasive dentistry. This miniature world helps to educate and inform about these tools and methods, and it is not only appealing to children – Dr Davis has been delighted to see adult patients laughing in his waiting room when they look through the Toothville book he has produced.

Five of Dr Davis’s Toothville photographs are held in Wellcome Images. They are available free of charge for personal use or academic purposes. To explore the rest of the world of Toothville, go to

Louise Crane, Picture Researcher, Wellcome Images

Image credit: Dr Ian Davis, Wellcome Images
Wellcome Images is one of the world’s richest and most unusual collections, with themes ranging from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and biomedical science. All our images are available in digital form so please click the link above if you would like to use the picture that features in this post, or to quickly find related ones. Many are free to use non-commercially under the terms of a Creative Commons licence and full details of the specific licence for each image are provided.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. tanya harris permalink
    8 Apr, 2011 4:27 pm

    What a creative way of supporting healthy oral hygiene in children [and adults!] love the pictures

  2. 23 Apr, 2011 7:00 pm

    dr lan davis muy ingeniosa tu forma de tratar los pacientes sicologicamente la forma es excelente la fotografia con combinada con la caricatura en cuanto alos niños ellos son muy amantes a sus personajes de moda como caricaturas usted podria colocar en esa fotografias
    los personajes de moda que reparen sus muelitas alos niños les gustaria tener la sensacion imaginativa de seguir el aseo dental pensando como fantasia tener su personaje preferido ayudando a limpiar su higiene oral

  3. 23 Apr, 2011 7:02 pm

    traducción del español al inglés
    Juan Espitia Tapiero permalink
    April 23, 2011 7:00 pm
    This iRate 00
    Dr Ian Davis ingenious way you treat people the way psychologically excellent photography combined with the cartoon as children they are alos very loving fashion his characters as caricatures you could put in that picture
    fashion characters alos Rabbit repair their children would like to have the feeling imaginative thinking to follow the dental hygiene and fantasy have their favorite character helping to clean up your oral hygiene
    Leer fonéticamente
    ¡Nuevo! Haz clic en las palabras que aparecen arriba para ver traducciones alternativas. Descartar

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