Let’s face it: Teeth are weird. But the average person probably doesn’t know just how weird teeth and our mouths actually are! Maybe learning these weird dental facts will give you a greater appreciation for just how complex, interesting, and strange the human mouth can be.
Our Mouths Are Amazing
Did you know that your tooth enamel is the hardest part of your body? Our dental enamel is so strong that scientists are even studying it to try and improve the way we build airplanes!
When you look at your teeth, you aren’t even seeing the whole story: One third of our teeth aren’t even visible because they’re buried in our gums. While our teeth may seem like lifeless bits of bone, they’re actually alive with nerves and soft tissue, and the roots keep them connected. When a tooth is pulled out or knocked out, it only takes fifteen minutes for it to start to die.
Adult humans usually have 32 teeth, which might sound impressive, until you realize that a snail can have upwards of 20,000. And while we have two sets — primary, or “baby” teeth, and secondary, or “permanent” teeth — sharks have around 40 sets!
And teeth aren’t the only impressive part of our mouths: Even our spit is amazing! Spit contains natural antibiotics that can make life hard for oral bacteria. And our spit is full of minerals that repair your teeth. Calculations have shown that the amount of saliva each person produces in a lifetime would be enough to fill two entire swimming pools. (That would be a truly unpleasant pool party!)
Dental Hygiene Is Full of Interesting Facts
Every time you pick up a toothbrush and put toothpaste on it, you’re reaping the benefits of many years of experimentation that got us to the dental hygiene practices we use today!
The first toothbrushes were made in China in the year 1498, and boasted bristles made of the hair from hogs, horses, and even badgers! It took some time for the first commercial toothbrush to be produced and sold: It was nearly 500 years later, in 1938, that commercial toothbrushes began being manufactured.
Toothbrushes may have been around for a while, but toothpaste hasn’t! Toothpaste as we know it has only existed for about a hundred years. Before that, people brushed their teeth with everything from chalk to charcoal to lemon juice, and everything in between.
Before dentistry was a common profession, you’ll never guess which profession moonlighted doing dental work: Blacksmiths! Doubtless the bedside manner has greatly improved since dentistry became its own profession.
Long before blacksmiths were doing dental procedures in their forges, Egyptians were doing their best to perform dentistry as well: Mummies have been found with fillings made from resin and malachite, and some Egyptians even had loose teeth bound together with gold wire. Flashy — but probably not nearly as effective as today’s dental resources!
Even cavemen tried their hand at dentistry. Prehistoric teeth have been found with beeswax pressed into cavities. Other teeth showed that decay could be removed using a bow drill–more than 10,000 years before the invention of anesthesia. Ouch!
Dentistry might have been interesting in the past, but it’s certainly more convenient and comfortable today! If you’re looking for a comfortable, convenient dental experience in Altamonte Springs, call (407) 834-6446 or contact us online to learn more or make an appointment.