Fun Facts About Teeth

Does your child want to learn more about their teeth and dentistry? To quell their curiosity and get them excited about visiting the dentist, here are some fun facts: 

Teeth & Tooth Decay

  • You are born with all 20 of your primary teeth. However, these teeth will remain in your jaw until you are about 3-6 months old. At this point, the primary teeth will start to erupt one at a time to allow the permanent teeth to start forming. When it is time for the permanent teeth to come in, the primary teeth will be lost one at a time so the permanent teeth can take their place. 
  • Humans have 32 permanent teeth, while dogs have 42. Sharks have as many as 300 teeth and, believe it or not, snails have 25,000 teeth. 
  • Although many people think that teeth are bones, they are not bones. Not only are teeth composed of enamel, which is even stronger than bones, but tooth enamel cannot heal itself the way that bones can. This means that if a tooth gets damaged by decay, it will need to be repaired with a dental filling. 
french bulldog with toothbrush in his mouth
  • Your teeth are just like fingerprints. This means that no one in the entire world has the same smile as you, since your teeth are completely unique. 
  • Children are 26 more times likely to laugh and show their teeth than adults. 
  • Elephant molars are one foot long and weight about 8-10 lbs each! This equates to about 500 human teeth. 
  • Tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood illness. In fact, tooth decay is even characterized as an infectious disease, since it is caused by bacteria and can spread from one person to another. 
  • In the past, tooth decay in children was not as common. Tooth decay in children only became popular when adding more and more sugar to their diet became the norm. Unfortunately, sugar  leads to tooth decay by feeding bacteria that produces an acid, which harms the tooth enamel. 
  • Dental plaque is the colorless, sticky film on the surface of your teeth that carries over 300 types of bacteria. Unfortunately after you brush your teeth, you only have four hours before more plaque develops. When you have bad breath, it is the bacteria in plaque that you smell. 

Dental Habits

ancient vs modern toothbrushes
  • People used to chew on sticks and twigs to clean their teeth. Then, they started to make toothbrushes handles with hog, horse, or badger hair. Finally in 1938, that traditional toothbrush with nylon bristles was invented. 
  • Ancient Egyptians used a tooth paste composed of powdered oxen hooves, myrrh, pumice, and burned eggshells, to create the world’s earliest toothpaste. Toothpaste has come a long way since that time. 
  • People who use their right hand to write usually also chew with the right side of their mouth, while people who use their left hand to write usually chew with the left side of their mouth. 
  • Over the course of your lifetime, you will produce enough saliva to fill up two swimming pools. However, saliva is highly important because it protects your teeth from decay and allows you to taste food. 

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