The Truth about your Tooth: Interesting Facts about your Teeth and Oral Health
- October 27, 2015
- 6 mins read
Basically, we know that teeth aids in digestion because it helps us chew food. Most of us are also aware that they work for a person’s aesthetic appeal each time those pearly whites flashes for a smile. However, there’s more to your teeth and oral health that you need to know.
Here are fifteen interesting facts that you probably haven’t heard of about your teeth.
1. Not everyone has a complete set of teeth.
Oral problems are not the only cause off tooth loss. Some people are just bound to have missing teeth.
On average, a person has 32 teeth. However, there are those that don’t have wisdom teeth, while others don’t grow lateral incisors. If you don’t have the latter, you can go for false teeth or dental implants, depending on your dentist’s recommendation.
2. Fluoride can be harmful to the teeth.
Yes, you read that right. Even if fluoride aids in keeping the teeth healthy, it can be harmful if the teeth is exposed to excessive amounts of it. Too much fluoride can make the teeth porous, making them more susceptible to damage.
Most children are prone to be exposed to high amounts of fluoride, because they have the tendency to use more toothpaste than necessary. If you have children, make sure that they only use the right amount of toothpaste and that they spit it out completely right after brushing.
3. Enamel is the toughest part of your body.
Enamel is the outermost layer that protects the rest of the teeth. It is considered as the hardest part of the body, but it’s still susceptible to damage. It can break, chip, or crack due to acids and sugars.
Although it’s sturdy, it’s important to take good care of your teeth’s enamel, because it doesn’t regenerate.
4. Braces can pose dangers to your teeth.
Braces are prescribed in order to correct the teeth’s alignment. However, they can become a breeding ground of cavities that can damage your teeth overtime. More so, it may leave light spots to the teeth if you don’t brush regularly.
5. Tongue and lip piercings can chip your teeth.
Piercings on the tongue and lips may seem like a harmless fashion statement, but they can slowly damage your teeth. Each time your mouth moves especially when you talk, lip and tongue rings hit your teeth, which can cause chips and cracks on the enamel.
6. Toothpaste exists as early as the time of the Ancient Greeks.
Around 500 BC, the Greeks mixed iron rust and coral powder and used it as cleansing solution for their teeth. Meanwhile, chewing on tree twigs was their way of tooth brushing.
7. Sugar is not the only culprit for tooth decay.
Apparently, even sour food can harm your teeth. Foods that are acidic and low in pH such as sour candy and fruit juices can soften the teeth and cause enamel erosion.
8. 700 different bacteria were detected in the human mouth.
But there’s no need to fret, because study shows that on average, only 34 to 72 different kinds of bacteria are found in an individual’s mouth. Moreover, not all of them are harmful to oral health. Some are probiotics while others provide protection to teeth and gums.
9. Teeth are like fingerprints.
Just like fingerprints, teeth are unique to each individual. Isn’t that enough reason to love your pearly whites even more? In fact, dental structures among twins are also different. This is the reason why dental records are sometimes used for identification purposes.
10. One-third of your teeth are underneath your gums.
Clearly, you shouldn’t just be satisfied on what you see on the surface because oral health goes deep down the gums. This is one of the main reasons why gum health is being encouraged and promoted all the time.
Healthy gums are pink and firm. If you want to keep them that way, make sure to maintain proper oral hygiene through regular tooth brushing, flossing and gargling with mouthwash. In addition, you can ask your dentist for any medication or supplements that may help keep your gums healthy.
11. Tooth worms used to be a thing.
Before the 60’s, people believed that toothaches are caused by tooth worms assumed to be living in the gums. When the pain subsides, they think that the worms were simply at rest or dormant.
Some people came up with “treatments” basing on these beliefs. Some recited chants, while others crafted methods using seeds and wax.
12. Bejeweled teeth were a trend among the Mayans.
Using a primitive drill, the Mayans embellished their teeth with jewels, while others are cutting them to form interesting shapes. Even if this trend happened in an ancient civilization, the Mayans demonstrated very advanced dental skills, because they were able to do all of that without breaking their teeth.
13. On average, a person may produce about 10,000 gallons of saliva
Saliva makes food easier to swallow and digest, and it keeps oral health problems at bay through neutralizing the acids that can harm the teeth and gums. In a day, the body produces a quart of saliva, which means that on average a person may produce 10,000 gallons of spit in his or her lifetime.
14. Your toothbrush can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
It’s easy to assume that your toothbrush is clean. Why wouldn’t they be? They’re used for cleaning, always in contact with toothpaste and water, and covered for more than half of the day. Unfortunately, they’re not as clean as you believe. In fact, your toothbrush can be home to a million different bacteria.
Because you always use it for driving bacteria away, it may end up being covered with them. More so, moisture allows germs to thrive in your brush. So what you need to do is to let it dry before covering it, clean it regularly, and keep it at a distance with others’ brushes to avoid contact with other bacteria and viruses. Changing your toothbrush every three months is also a must, as suggested by most dental professionals.
15. Brushing your teeth right after meals is not the best way to go
You may think that the best way to take care of your teeth is to brush them after every meal. After all, that’s the time when there is most bacteria build-up in the mouth. While that may be true, you also need to know that there is also a high level of acid in the saliva after you eat. When you mix that along with the pressure of brushing, you are potentially doing more harm than good to your teeth. Experts suggest gargling with water after a meal and waiting at least 30 minutes before you proceed to tooth brushing.
The more you know about your teeth, the better you can take care of them. So keep these 15 interesting facts in mind, so that you can maintain good oral health at all times.