10 Random Dental Facts

A smile is often one of the first things a person notices about someone else. Because of this, we spend a lot of time keeping our teeth pearly white. But how much time do we actually spend? What were toothbrushes made out of in the 1900s?

It’s time to let your mind run wild! Below are ten random facts about your teeth.

1. Powerful Enamel

Did you know your enamel is the strongest substance in your body? Not quite as strong as a diamond, but it ranks higher than silver and gold. Your enamel is not a living tissue, so it won’t grow back like your hair and nails. The acid in certain foods and drinks breaks down our enamel, but the fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash will help it to reharden.

2. The Plaque Community

Did you know plaque is essentially a community of microorganisms? As terrifying as that sounds, plaque is not unnatural. Though it does contain roughly 300 types of bacteria, so it’s best to keep it at bay with good fluoride toothpaste.

3. Before Breakfast, Please

Did you know, contrary to popular belief, it is better to brush your teeth before a meal instead of after? There are several reasons for this. First, bacteria-causing plaque tends to multiply at night, giving you that signature morning breath. Second, a lot of breakfasts involve citrus or sugary foods. When you brush immediately after your meal, it can coat your teeth with whatever you ate, harming your enamel. If you want to freshen up that breath after a good meal, it might be best to wait 30-60 minutes.

4. Our Ally, Saliva

Did you know saliva is a great ally of your teeth? It works hard at depositing minerals back into your teeth the bacteria may have eaten away overnight. It helps prevent tooth decay, protects that precious enamel, and even aids against bad breath.

5. 32 Days

Did you know, the average person spends roughly 32 days brushing their teeth? This depends on the lifespan of a person, of course. But if someone was to brush for the suggested two minutes, twice a day, for their entire life, the data suggests that they will have spent over a month fighting against tooth decay. With our smiles being one of the first things someone notices, it’s no wonder we want to take care of them!

6. You’re Not a Lizard, Harry

Did you know our teeth are the only part of our bodies that can’t repair themselves? A broken bone, with time and proper care, can heal. A tooth? Not so much. Unfortunately, they don’t behave like a lizard that recently lost a limb that will simply regrow. Thankfully, we have many options to help us if we do damage a tooth.

7. Bristley History

Did you know they made early toothbrushes from hog hair, and then later, horse hair? Modern nylon bristles didn’t come into play until the 1930s. The new style was much easier on the teeth and less likely to cling to bacteria. It definitely makes one wonder what the future holds for our dental care.

8. The Past of Toothpaste

Did you know modern toothpaste has only been around since the late 1800s? Before this, it was a powder form sold in a jar. This tooth powder was certainly an improvement on the ancient versions made of oyster shells and crushed bones. Fluoride wasn’t added until 1914, bringing us one step closer to the toothpaste we now use to keep our teeth shining and bright.

9. Don’t Skip the Floss!

Did you know flossing could extend your life expectancy? It is thought that flossing daily could add 1 to 6 years to your life. This is due to all the bacteria-filled plaque hiding between the teeth. When you skip flossing, you miss out on cleaning roughly 35% of your teeth. There are even some interesting findings about your longevity and brushing before bed.

10. Like a Fingerprint

Did you know, there is such a thing as forensic dentistry? Each person has a unique tooth print, and this has been used to identify many different people. Teeth provide a reliable source of DNA for investigators as they can’t be cut or burned to change the print, unlike a fingerprint. Because of this, forensic dentistry can be used for both criminal and civil law. It is especially helpful in the unfortunate case of mass disasters when facial recognition is not applicable.

Just One More…

Did you know 42% of Americans feel they don’t visit their dentist often enough? For some, this could be due to anxiety, for others, this could be due to time constraints or a busy life. It is important to have a dentist that you enjoy, one that brings a smile to your face. Here are eight signs that you have a good dentist! If you’re ready to discover the right options to maintain your beautiful smile, reach out to Bloomington Modern Dentistry and book a consultation.