The team at Beaufils Dental is always excited to educate patients on all topics dental related. In the past, we’ve discussed some serious topics ranging from tooth decay to snoring to diabetes and its role in oral health. While these are some topics everyone should know about for the sake of their oral health, the world of dentistry can also be lighthearted and fun. To prove this, we’ve compiled 10 of the most random (yet surprisingly informative) dental facts that you probably didn’t know about–but totally should.
1. Our tooth enamel is harder than our bones
Teeth are meant to last a lifetime, so it’s no surprise that tooth enamel is the hardest part of our body. However, however strong it may be, it’s not exactly invincible. To keep tooth enamel intact, regular brushing and flossing and visits to the dentist are required.
2. In 1498, people brushed their teeth using animal hair
Invented in China, the bristles of the toothbrush were made from the stiff hairs of hogs, badgers and horses. This went on until 1938, when animal hair was replaced by nylon bristles. Nowadays, your toothbrush is comprised of about 2,500 nylon bristles. That’s a lot of animal hair!
3. The use of toothpaste dates as far back as 500 BC
Used mainly in China and India, toothpaste contained interesting ingredients such as crushed egg shells, honey, soot and ground ox’s hooves. This recipe didn’t quite create the minty taste we experience when brushing our teeth today. The minty taste of toothpaste didn’t make an appearance until 1873, when Colgate released the first commercially prepared toothpaste.
4. No tongue or set of teeth is the same
Just like a fingerprint, your tongue contains prints that are unique to you. Each set of teeth is unique, as well – even twins don’t share the same set! This is why tooth identification is a go-to in forensic dentistry(especially because teeth remain intact longer than the body itself). Keep your unique prints safe by brushing every day (tongue included!)
5. In the 1800’s, a tooth was worth upwards to $35,000
Sir Isaac Newton’s tooth, to be exact. In 1816, his tooth sold for $3,633 – today’s equivalent of $35,700. That’s a far cry from the modern tooth fairy, who leaves about $3-5 a tooth, at most.
6. China has an entire day dedicated to teeth
September 20th is a big deal in China. Love Your Teeth day is a campaign created to encourage oral health and promote dental education in China. Launched in 1989, this initiative has helped improve the country’s overall quality of oral health care.
7. The mouth produces over 10,000 gallons (or 25,000 quarts) of spit over a lifetime
The average person produces about a quart of saliva daily. Multiply that by the average U.S life expectancy of 78-80 and that’s, well, a lot of saliva. A healthy production of saliva is crucial to washing food and other particles out of teeth. It also protects you from developing bad breath.
8. Bejeweled teeth were once a thing
The Mayans may have existed more than 2,5000 years ago, but they still had a penchant for style. They also had a pretty thorough understanding of teeth. While most of us seek to enhance our smiles via teeth whitening, Mayans used a primitive drill to insert gems into the centers of their teeth. Surprisingly, this decorative enhancement was done with little damage to the teeth (although we don’t recommend this elaborate method of smile enhancement).
9. The inside of your mouth is more populated than any country on Earth
The oral cavity contains about 20 billion oral microbes – and that number only multiplies with time. Saliva alone contains about 100 million microbes. Since the average person swallows about 1 liter (1,000 milliliters) of saliva a day, you’re actually swallowing about 100 billion microbes in the span of 24 hours! So, what’s the key to stop the production of these unwanted inhabitants? Brushing and flossing daily.
10. Floss was once used as a tool to escape the law
In 1994, a prison inmate in West Virginia used dental floss to escape! Sounds impossible, right? The inmate braided floss and used it as a rope to scale a prison wall. If floss can be used to obtain freedom from the law, it can certainly be used to keep free of food particles and bacteria (much like bejeweled teeth, we suggest against using floss as an escape accessory).
At Beaufils Dental, we believe our compassion for keeping patients well informed is what sets us apart from other dentists in Cooper City. Whether it’s reassuring a hesitant patient, treating a dental emergency or simply inviting some humor with wacky dental facts, our team is always willing to assist patients with a smile. Contact us today at 954-252-1390 to schedule your appointment.