M. Evangeline Jordon (1865-1952)
DDS 1898 University of California
Pedodontics - the care and treatment of children’s teeth
Rid the country of the deadly candy shop and grocery store, get most of your living from the vegetable garden and the family cow, and apply the teaching of oral hygiene.M. Evangeline Jordon, 1925. Portrait courtesy of the the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.
Evangelist for Children’s Teeth
M. Evangeline Jordon began her career as a teacher, but summers spent as a dental assistant inspired her to study dentistry at the University of California. Jordon quickly focused on children’s dental needs. The University of Southern California invited her to lecture on pediatric and operative dentistry and, by 1909 she had limited her practice to children.
Jordon introduced techniques that helped reduce children’s fear of visiting the dentist. Although some methods, like holding her hand over a child’s mouth until the child stopped screaming, reflected the expectations of the time and would never be used today, they represented a significant breakthrough in understanding that children required a different approach than adults.
A Guide for Others
Jordon firmly believed in the beneficial effect of a good diet on children’s teeth and published a series of papers on dental treatment of children in Dental Items of Interest and Oral Hygiene. She published the first text on the subject, Operative Dentistry for Children, in 1925.