10 Fun Facts about Teeth and Dentistry

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There’s more to teeth than meets the eye. Check out these 10 interesting facts!

One. The average American spends 38.5 total days brushing over a lifetime. Dentists recommend you spend 2 minutes brushing your teeth after each meal, at least twice per day. Technique is more important than time, though, so less time but proper technique will be more effective.  And be gentle on your gums.  If you cannot brush after lunch, have a good rinse with water.


Two. If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 40% of your tooth surfaces. That’s a lot of tooth to be missing out. Flossing is essential to keep your teeth and gum healthy.


Three. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. It’s made up pf 95% minerals primarily calcium and phosphorus which bond together to form hard crystallites. That doesn’t mean you can open a bottle with your mouth. Your teeth are jewels not tools!


Four. Blue is the most popular toothbrush colour and the first modern toothbrush was invented around 1780 by William Addis, when he was incarcerated in an English prison. The toothbrush was made from bone and used swine bristle for the brush.  Swine bristle has now been replaced by nylon.


Five. Like fingerprints, everyone’s tongue print is unique. Tongue prints have recently been studied for use in biometric authentication. and have been found it to be ”beneficial and comparable to other biometric tools.”


Six. Your mouth is home to 300 types of bacteria. Plaque contains millions of bacteria, made up of 200 different species. The main culprit for poor tooth health is streptococcus mutans, which converts sugar into the acids which eat away at your teeth.


Seven. Dogs have 42 teeth, cats have 30 teeth, pigs have 44 teeth and armadillos have 104 teeth. Humans have 32 adult teeth and 20 primary (baby) teeth.


Eight. Dental floss was first manufactured commercially in 1882, perhaps after observation of monkey behaviour. Long-tailed macaques have been observed in the wild and in captivity flossing with human hair and feathers.


Nine. Orthodontics are nearly as old as Methusalah! Archaeologists have discovered Egyptian mummies wearing simple brace appliances!  Originally braces were made from flat pieces of metal that were tied to the teeth with string.


Ten. Teeth are like icebergs. About a third of each tooth is underneath your gums. This is why keeping your gums healthy is as important as making sure your teeth are well cared for. Your gums should always be pink and firm.