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15 Amazing Dental Facts About Teeth and Dentistry

Posted by Dr. Mark Mann

May 9, 2014 2:12:00 PM

dental_facts_16277224_sWhen it comes to your smile, you'll be surprised to learn some of the amazing dental facts that surround our teeth and the practice of dentistry. From science to history, teeth have always played an important role in our existence. Read and learn more about your pearly whites.  You'll discover some amazing details about them. 

Surprising Dental Facts 

The role of our teeth is an important one and their development starts before we are even born. There are many interesting wonders surrounding teeth and these dental facts are intriguing to say the least.

  • 1. A baby's teeth begin to form, within the jawbone, while they are still in the womb. These first set of teeth, known as milk teeth or baby teeth, begin to erupt at six to twelve months of age.   
  • 2. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance found in the entire human body. Your teeth are composed of a combination of calcium, phosphorus and minerals salts.
  • 3. Each and every person has a unique set of teeth that are unlike anyone else's. "Teethprints" just like fingerprints, are often used in forensic science as a way to identify an individual. Even identical twins have their own identifiable teethprints! 
  • 4. Sports-related injuries suffered by athletes account for over 5 million missing teeth each year. Because of these staggering numbers mouth guards have become a commonplace in the sports field.
  • 5. When it comes to caring for your teeth, in a lifetime the average person spends about 38 days brushing and flossing. Each year, over 14 million gallons of toothpaste are sold in the United States alone! 

The Importance of Dental Preventive Care

Your dental health is important as it effects not only the appearance of your teeth but your health and well being. A good reminder of why preventive dental care is crucial. 

  • 6. When consumed in excess, sugary beverages such as soda can be detrimental to your teeth. It's estimated that soda drinkers have a 64% higher risk of developing tooth decay, compared to those who stick to water.
  • 7. Did you know that three out of four people in the United States will develop Periodontal Gum Disease, the #1 cause of tooth loss in those over the age of 35? Fortunately, with proper preventive care Gum Disease can be avoided, or at the very least controlled.
  • 8. Flossing is crucial since it removes dental plaque that's often missed when brushing your teeth. About 40% of your tooth surfaces lie between your teeth which should make flossing an important part of your daily routine.
  • 9. Saliva plays an important role in protecting your teeth by washing away harmful bacteria within the mouth. Humans produce an average of 25,000 quarts of saliva throughout their lifetime and this staggering amount of fluid could fill over 2 full-size swimming pools! 
  • 10. Dental plaque, the leading cause of tooth decay, is comprised of over 300 unique species of bacteria. 

Historical Dental Trivia

Dentistry has been used since ancient times to care for, and treat, the many issues that surround our teeth. These ancient facts prove that teeth have played an important role in history that dates back further than you may have realized.

  • 11. Evidence of early dentistry dates back over 5,000 years when the ancient Babylonians created crude toothpicks to clean their teeth. The toothpicks were often crafted from the wood of aromatic trees in order to freshen their breath. 
  • 12. The ancient Romans developed their own form of "toothpaste" at around 200 A.D. They commonly cleaned their teeth with a concoction of honey, ground bone, eggshells and oyster shells. They would also create fillings and fixed bridgework out of pure gold.  
  • 13. The first false teeth on record were created around 700 B.C. Made by the Etruscans, the teeth were commonly designed from animal bone and ivory. 
  • 14. Fillings and other signs of dental work has been observed in the mouth's of Egyptian mummies. These early fillings were made from resins and malachite and any loose teeth would be bound together using gold wire. 
  • 15. Beginning in 1498, it was common for the Chinese to create their own toothbrushes using materials obtained from animals. Their toothbrush handles were crafted from solid animal bone and its bristles were often made from hog, horse or badger hair.    

Human teeth are a fascinating topic that has a deep and rich history all of its own. By understanding their importance, you can be sure to give them the extra attention they deserve to protect your dental health. What other surprising, or shocking, dental facts do you know?


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The Mann Dental Care Blog features important topics regarding dental health. Over one-hundred dental care posts have been published, providing our readers with a great resource for timely news about dental care.

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