Apparently, there seems to be some evidence (which I wouldn’t find) somewhere that people already used dental instruments about 7000 years ago (around 5000BC) according to this blog. Egyptians seem to have used some sort of dental drill back in the day and the Greek supposedly used something like mint flavored toothpaste, whatever it was made of.
It was the Romans who anticipated daily or regular oral hygiene, though. They also invented or build some of the first dentures made from bone and wires of gold.
Here‘s a Wikipedia article on dental drills. It has a short overview of the history of dental drills and a good photograph of an ancient foot-powered dental drill that looks similar to a spinning wheel.
to be continued…