Cure-dent is based on two words. The first one, cure, comes from the verb curer, “to scrape” or “to clean” and the noun dent, “tooth”. Un cure-dent is a toothpick, the oldest instrument for dental cleanings! And do you know that? In the 17th century, they were luxury objects. Like jewelry, they were made of precious metal, artfully stylized and set with expensive stones.