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10 Fascinating Facts To Know About Your Teeth

Learning to properly take care of your teeth is just as much a part of growing up as reciting the alphabet or knowing how to tie your shoelaces. You brush, floss, or even use mouthwash. You don’t use your biters to crush ice or pop off a bottle cap. This knowledge seems to come naturally for everyone, however, there is still a thing or two to learn about your teeth. Gnaw on this enlightening list of facts you didn’t know about your teeth.

1. Your teeth are uniquely yours.

Like a snowflake or your fingerprint, there are no two teeth that are alike. Your teeth, as well as your tongue print, are unique and one-of-a-kind. This is why dental records are sometimes used to identify human remains. In fact, even identical twins don’t have similar teeth. 

2. Stress can harm them.

After a hard day at work or school, you might want to just go home and sleep. The stress that piles up can cause you to have headaches, which often causes you to grit or clench your teeth. Many people tend to grind their biters at night, a condition that can result in jaw issues and cracked, worn-down teeth. Wearing a night guard is a simple solution. You can purchase one at your local pharmacy, but it’s best to see your dentist to know what other options you have.

3. Biting your nails can damage your teeth.

Many people have nervous habits, such as fidgeting or pacing. Although most of them are harmless, nail biting can actually cause various ailments. Aside from increasing your risk of infection, this habit can also chip your teeth. Regularly biting your nails force your teeth to shift out of place, which can require correctional retainer or braces. More importantly, it can break your tooth enamel. The bacteria in your nails can also linger in your mouth, resulting in gum irritation or bad breath.

4. Enamel is the hardest part of your body.

cartoon teeth

The outer layer of a tooth is called the enamel. It is the strongest part of your body, tougher than your bones. However, that doesn’t mean it is not susceptible to damage. Many factors, such as plaque and bacteria in your mouth, can eat away at this material and cause decay. Unlike other parts of your body, the enamel can never heal on its own. To repair broken enamel, your dentist can remove, fill, and seal the decayed area. You can prevent that problem altogether by brushing, flossing, and drinking plenty of water.

5. You don’t necessarily have to rinse away toothpaste. 

Aside from being awfully gross, the habit of swallowing toothpaste can lead to ingesting too much fluoride. Follow what the tube says, don’t swallow the toothpaste. On the other hand, it’s not necessary to rinse afterward. You can rinse, but allowing the fluoride more time around your teeth increases your resistance to tooth decay. The idea behind this is the same as it is for dental treatments where they apply a fluoride-rich paste to teeth and often let it sit for about 30 minutes.

6. Wisdom teeth don’t always have to be extracted.

Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure for people who experience pain or an uneven shift to their teeth. Evolution has shortened our jaw length; therefore, wisdom teeth are those that develop but there isn’t much space to accommodate them anymore. Some people still have enough space in their mouth, while others are born without having to deal with wisdom teeth at all.

7. Your mouth is home to 300 types of bacteria.

Bacteria in plaque is typically made up of about 200 to 300 various species. The primary culprit for less than stellar tooth health is Streptococcus mutans, also known as the king of decay. This bacterium is responsible for converting carbohydrates like sugar into acids that munch away at your teeth. Meanwhile, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Treponema denticola are the types that are most frequently associated with gum inflammation. Still, no bacteria is beyond the control of proper tooth brushing and flossing. Target these three “bad” bacteria with a variety of products that are soft yet abrasive enough to access them.

8. Saliva is your teeth’s best friend.

Before anything else, you should always use a toothbrush and a strand of floss to clean your teeth. Nevertheless, your teeth’s first line of defense against the sugars and carbohydrates that cause decay is your saliva. Saliva is regarded as nature’s disinfecting cavity fighter. It helps rinse your mouth and neutralize acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. 

A dry mouth buffers the saliva’s ability to counter the ill effects of sugar. It’s a problem that should be treated promptly. Talk to your dentist if you have this condition. You can also pop a sugar-free mint in your mouth whenever your mouth feels dry.

9. Teeth can grow in strange places.

It’s quite uncommon, but teratomas allow tumors to have teeth. These are tumors that contain developed tissues, which themselves contain bone, hair, and teeth. It starts in the fetus and is seldom cancerous, meaning you can have it removed with minimal risk. Although the condition can terrifyingly happen to anyone, it’s so rare that you probably don’t even have to worry about it.

10. Your teeth may reflect your overall health.

Oral health is a crucial part of your overall wellbeing.  According to statistics, one in seven adults aged 35 to 40 suffers from gum disease. For seniors aged 65 and older, that increases to one in every four. In most cases, these tooth decay problems and other oral health-related issues are a side-effect of other serious health conditions like stroke, heart disease, and diabetes

Now that you’ve learned new things about your teeth, it’s time to take a good look at them and know what areas you can improve on. Here at Kyrene Family Dentistry, we know how special and unique every individual’s teeth are. That’s why we take the extra step to help every patient. Schedule a dental checkup today by filling out this contact form.