Some kids may find teeth and dental care to be a boring part of life. Our Charlottetown dentists share some fun dental facts that you can share with your kids.
1. Humans have known the importance of oral hygiene since ancient times.
While ancient oral hygiene methods and practices seem rudimentary compared to those we use today, people back then had definitely figured out that there is a connection between oral hygiene and strong, healthy teeth.
Ancient people tried many different methods to keep their teeth clean. Some would go so far as to chew tree bark or wooden sticks with frayed ends to clean their teeth. Ancient Egyptians brushed their teeth using a powder made from pulverized eggshells and ox hooves mixed with water.
2. The toothbrush as we know it has only been around since the 1700s.
The first mass-produced toothbrush was invented by a man in England named William Addis who attached boar bristles to a bone handle. In the 1930s, brushes with nylon bristles and ergonomic handles were developed. These products seem primitive compared to modern toothbrushes, but they were highly innovative at the time!
3. Inflation affects everyone, including the tooth fairy.
Today, the Tooth Fairy needs a lot more silver than she did in 1900 when she left an average of twelve cents per tooth. In 1998, she left an average of one dollar. In 2013, the going rate for a tooth reached an average of $3.50. In 2018, it was not uncommon for kids to find a $5 bill under their pillows! How much do you get?
4. There are roughly 3 million miles of dental floss used in North Americans each year.
Even with all of this floss used, we are still not doing a great job at flossing. Only 30% of North Americans report flossing once a day.
5. There are 25,000 quarts of saliva produced in the human mouth in an average lifetime.
Essentially, this would provide enough saliva to fill up two entire swimming pools.
6. The teeth from various creatures are able to provide valuable information about the past.
Teeth are the hardest part of any mammal, which means they are the part most often fossilized. The size, number, shape, and organization of the teeth are different in every species of mammal, making them very useful in the classification of organisms (taxonomy). Without teeth, the fossil record would be quite a lot harder for us to understand.
7. The highest number of cavities per person in the world is in the US.
On the other hand, in some countries (like China), people eat such small amounts of sugar that entire cities are completely cavity-free.
8. 'Long in the tooth' is a phrase that was used to mean 'old'.
This expression originated with horses. As horses age, their gums recede, making it seem like their teeth are growing. The longer the teeth look, the older the horse.
9. Believe it or not, snails have a large number of teeth.
Snails and slugs eat with a jaw and a flexible band of thousands of microscopic teeth called a radula. The radula scrapes up, or rasps, food particles and the jaw cuts off larger pieces of food, like a leaf, to be rasped by the radula.
10. In the state of Louisiana, it is assault if you bite someone with your natural teeth, but aggravated assault if you wear dentures.
This is because simple assault is committed with your person, and aggravated assault is committed with a dangerous weapon (which dentures are if you're using them for biting people).