Inspire Your Dental Health with These Facts
At Tedford Family Dentistry, we think teeth are fascinating. Of course, not everyone shares our level of enthusiasm for all things dental health; however, we think you’ll find these strange and interesting facts about teeth to be rather entertaining. We hope, too, to inspire you to work toward greater dental health by furthering your knowledge about teeth. So here are 10 things you didn’t know about teeth to galvanize your personal dental health journey.
1– Teeth are not bones.
A common misconception, teeth are actually not bones. Though they are hard and white, they are made up of different materials than your bones are. Bones can heal themselves over a long period of time, while teeth do not have this ability to recover from stresses.
2– They are as unique as fingerprints.
An important tool in forensics, teeth are just as unique as fingerprints, if not even moreso. The way your teeth are arranged inside your mouth is unique to you and you alone. Every human has their own bite that cannot be replicated by anyone else. Even if you’ve worn braces!
3– Most people have 32 teeth.
8 incisors, or your front teeth, 4 canine teeth, 8 premolars, and 12 molars– that is the set up most people are working with, landing at 32 total teeth. That said, every mouth is different. Some people are missing certain teeth genetically, and others have lost some due to various circumstances.
4– Orthodontia dates back to ancient Egypt.
Wildly enough, braces have been a part of human dental history for an incredibly long time. Archeologists have even discovered Egyptian mummies with simpler versions of braces on their teeth. The first documented braces, however, were designed in 1728.
5– Tooth plaque contains more than 300 species of bacteria.
Plaque actually contains millions of types of bacteria, made up of more than 300 different species. The main cause of dental health problems is Streptococcus mutans, which is a bacteria that converts carbs and sugar into an acid in your mouth that eats away at healthy tooth enamel.
6– You’ll produce roughly 10,000 gallons of saliva in your lifetime.
Your body produces saliva constantly, about a quart every day, which averages out to be about 10,000 gallons over a lifetime. That is enough saliva to fill two swimming pools! That saliva generated serves important functions in overall health. It makes food easier to swallow by helping to break it down as you chew, contains enzymes that aid in digestion, and washes lingering food particles away from your teeth. It also contains calcium and phosphate, which help to neutralize the acids in plaque that cause tooth decay.
7– Enamel is the hardest part of the body.
Enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth, and like a hard shell, it exists to protect the rest of the tooth. Made mostly of calcium and phosphate, the enamel is like bones, only stronger as it is formed from specific proteins and crystallites.
8– Cheese is good for your teeth.
What? Yes, it’s true. Cheese is good for your teeth! Eating cheese can actually help protect your teeth by creating a layer over them that wards off the effects of acids and plaque. Cheese also has high levels of calcium and phosphate, which also work to strengthen your teeth from the inside out. Another fun fact is that cheese actually helps to balance the pH level inside your mouth resulting in less acidic saliva, and consequently fewer cavities. As if we needed more reasons to love cheese!
9– Teeth are like icebergs.
Teeth are similar to icebergs in that about a third of them is underneath the gum line. So there’s a lot more to your teeth than meets the eye. This is why it’s extremely important to take great care of your gums and keep them healthy. Healthy gums are firm and pink in color.
10– Tooth brushing dates back to about 500 B.C.
Though dental care has evolved dramatically over the years, people have actually been using toothpaste to clean their teeth since roughly 500 B.C. In that time, the ancient Greeks used a mixture of iron rust and coral powder to clean their teeth, though the toothbrush-type instruments used were made of twigs.
Dental health is paramount to overall physical wellbeing, and the more you know and understand about teeth and gums, and how to keep them healthy, the better success you will have. Our team at Tedford Family Dentistry hopes you’re inspired by these strange and fun facts about teeth and oral care, and that you’ll come see our staff for preventative cleanings and exams, as well as with any issues that may arise with your teeth. Visit our Ooltewah family dentistry office today!