People living in Roman Britain had healthier gums than modern-day humans, research from archaeological dentistry shows.
A team at King's College London and the Natural History Museum found only 5% of adults had gum disease in the Roman, and certainly pre-toothbrush, era.
That figure has risen to nearly 33% of people today.
But ancient Britain was certainly not a golden age of gleaming gnashers.
The smiles of our ancestors were filled with infections and tooth decay, the study showed.
The research group looked at 303 skulls from a burial ground in Poundbury, in Dorset.
The skeletons, mostly of people who died in their 40s, were between 1600 and 1800 years old.