Our Calgary Dentist Shares Some Fun Facts About Teeth

By Advance Your Health Dental | Dr. Dirk Thompson, D.D.S. | Calgary Dentist

It’s no secret that our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, loves everything about dentistry and teeth and could talk for hours about his passion for dentistry.  But did you know that, in addition to the more serious dentistry topics such as brushing, flossing, and cavities, there are some fun and interesting facts about teeth?  Although we can’t guarantee that this information would make great party conversation or impress your date, if you run out of things to talk about, you can always relate these fun facts about teeth and your oral health!

(Caveat: The following information is for entertainment purposes only and should not be relied upon to make decisions regarding your health or be cited for reference purposes).

 

Fun Facts About Your Teeth

  • Your tooth’s enamel (the hard, surface part of your tooth) is the hardest substance in your body, even harder than bone.

  • Your tastebuds, which are onion-shaped end organs, have a lifespan of only approximately ten days to two weeks and are constantly regenerating. 

  • Unfortunately, your tooth is the only part of your body that is unable to heal itself after being damaged so make sure you take care of your precious pearly whites!

  • Only approximately one third of your tooth is visible above the gumline. The remaining two thirds is hidden below your gums.

  • If you don’t floss those pearly whites, you won't be cleaning about 35% of your tooth’s total surface area.  So listen to our Calgary dentist and dental hygienist and floss your teeth!

  • Various studies have reported that flossing your teeth may actually extend your life expectancy.  In fact, flossing is so important that the Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calendar has flossing as one of its questions!


Fun Facts About The History Of Oral Health Care

  • There is evidence that the ancient Egyptians had knowledge about the importance of keeping their gums and teeth clean, including by chewing bark and wooden sticks.  In fact, early forms of the toothbrush date back to 3000 BC and were made from twigs with a frayed end.

  • Ancient Egyptians also brushed their teeth by mixing the powder from finely crushed eggshells and ox hooves with water.

  • It was not until 1498 in China that humans started to use a toothbrush similar in form to those we use today.  These toothbrush bristles were made from the hair from the back of a hog’s neck, which were tied to pieces of bone or bamboo for the handle.

  • Mass production of toothbrushes did not begin in the United States until 1885.  At that time, boar bristles were still used.

  • The first nylon toothbrush was introduced in 1938 and was called “Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush”.

  • The first form of electric toothbrush was introduced in the United States in 1960 by Squibb.


Some Tidbits On Your Oral Health

  • A survey reported on the American Academy of Periodontology website indicates that more than a third of Americans would rather do an unpleasant task than floss their teeth, with more than 14% of respondents indicating that they would rather clean the toilet than floss their teeth.  My oh my! What would our Calgary dentist have to say about this?

  • An aching jaw can be a sign of a heart attack, particularly in conjunction with chest pain – especially in women.

  • Make sure you keep your toothbrush dry as the growth rate for bacteria is much faster when your toothbrush is wet.

  • According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92% of adults between the ages of 20 to 64 years have had cavities in their permanent teeth and 5% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have no teeth at all.

  • According to the Canadian Dental Association, in school age children, it is estimated that each year a whopping 2.26 million school-days are missed because of dental-related illness.

  • Also according to the Canadian Dental Association, one third of all day surgeries performed in Canada for children aged 1 to 5 years is due to tooth decay.


Fun Facts About Animals and Their Teeth

  • A mouse’s teeth are always growing so these pesky little critters are constantly gnawing and nibbling away at everything in sight to help file down their constantly growing choppers.

  • A giraffe’s tongue is about 20 to 21 inches long and is prehensile, meaning it can be used to grab things such as leaves and branches.  Although a giraffe has 32 teeth (just like us!), they are arranged differently.  Giraffes have no teeth in the front, although they do have both upper and lower molars.

  • Sharks continually shed and replace their teeth, with some species shedding approximately 35,000 teeth throughout their lifetime!

  • The ancient’s megalodon’s teeth were huge, ranging in length from 3.5 to 7 inches and weighing more than a pound.


And Then There’s This!

  • More than one third of respondents in a survey conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology indicated that a smile is the first thing they notice when meeting new people, with women being more likely than men to say that they notice a smile.  Not surprisingly, the first our Calgary dentist notices is definitely your smile!

  • Grab your toothbrushes and tooth floss! Three out of five people surveyed in the American Academy of Periodontology survey indicated that their partner’s oral health affects their intimacy.

  • Also according to this survey, more than 25% of adults are not honest with their dentist about how often they brush their teeth. Don’t worry, you can tell our Calgary dentist anything! No judgment here – just gentle encouragement from our Calgary dentist and our team members. 

  • On average, women smile more often than do men, but the extent of the difference depends upon which country they’re in, their ethnicity, their age and whether they know they are being watched or not (Yale News).  This difference disappears, however, when men and women are in the same roles.

  • On average, people spend around 38 days in their lifetime brushing their teeth.  For most dentists and dental professionals, that time is probably significantly more.

  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, as of 2020, the longest tongue belongs to Nick Stoeberl and measures 10.1 cm, measured from its tip to the middle of his closed top lip.

  • Just like your fingerprints, your tongue has its own unique print as well.  Some researchers are taking advantage of the tongue’s unique identity and are working on ways to use the tongue as a method of identification by using 3D tongue image databases.

Our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, encourages everyone to make their teeth and smile a priority in their every day healthcare routine. Our Calgary dental clinic is here for your routine general dentistry care, emergency dentistry and cosmetic dentistry needs.  If you would like to make an appointment with our Calgary dentist for you or your family, please call our office, Advance Your Health Dental, today at 403.283.4252 to set up a dentist or dental hgyiene appointment.  As always, our Calgary dentist is here for you and your family.

 

Please be advised that this blog post is for informational purposes only.  It is not to be taken or used as a substitute for dental, medical or other professional advice, treatment or diagnosis.  Always ask your dentist, physician or other healthcare professional for advice before altering your diet or healthcare routine.  Individual patient needs and oral healthcare concerns vary so please consult your dentist for more informtion about your specific dental health requirements.

 

Copyright: Dirk A. Thompson Professional Corporation operating as Advance Your Health Dental.  Dr. Dirk A. Thompson, D.D.S., is a general dentist in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

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