Fascinating Dental Facts!

While visiting the dentist is not always one’s favourite place, dental health is an important part of your overall health and is therefore imperative to visit your dentist regularly.

Visiting the dentist can be intimidating for some and generate fear and nervousness. However, there’s many interesting dentist facts that may help ease your mind and provide some icebreakers with your dentist. Check them out!

  • Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body; however, we do NOT recommend that you use your pearly whites to open bottles!
  • The plaque found on your teeth is home to more than 300 different species of bacteria. Listerine, anyone?
  • The average person spends about 48 seconds per day brushing their teeth, but dentists recommend at least 2 or 3 minutes.

African American male on the left and female on the right brushing their teeth in the mirror and smiling looking at each other.

  • 6 is the magic number of feet away from your toilet you should store your toothbrush in order to avoid airborne particles from toilet flushing making their way to your bristles, yuck!
  • In 1994, a West Virginia prison inmate braided dental floss into a rope, scaled the wall, and escaped! We suggest that you use it to clean the 35% of your teeth’s surfaces that you are missing when only brushing, rather than to escape from any prisons (better yet, just don’t go to prison, ok?)
  • The common practice of placing a cap on your toothbrush is actually more detrimental–bacteria favor the moist environment, which increases reproduction.
  • According to a recent survey by Time Magazine, 59% of people would rather have a dental appointment than sit next to someone who is talking on a cell phone (and I don’t blame ‘em!)
  • At least 3 out of 4 Americans suffer from some form of periodontal gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss for people over the age of 35. The good news: Gum disease can be prevented and controlled!
  • In China, in 1498, the first toothbrush with bristles was made, using hair from hogs, horses, and badgers. The first official commercial toothbrush was manufactured in 1938.
  • A snail’s mouth is no larger than the head of a pin, but can contain over 25,000 teeth!
  • In early America, blacksmiths often also served as dentists. How about a tooth filling to go with your new horse shoes?!
  • In Egypt, mummies have been found with fillings comprised of resin and malachite, and gold wire was used to bind together loose teeth.
  • The Romans, in 200 AD, used pretty impressive dental technology! They restored cavity-ridden teeth with gold crowns, and utilized fixed bridgework to fix gaps from missing teeth. They also used a form of toothpaste concocted from honey and crushed eggshells.
  • In Medieval Germany, the only cure for a toothache was to kiss a donkey.
  • 73% of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss.
  • What’s the object most often choked on by Americans? A toothpick! Wouldn’t it just be easier to floss?
  • The average woman smiles about 62 times per day! A man? Only 8.
  • 50% of people surveyed say that a person’s smile is the first physical trait they notice.

Woman laying in dentist chair smiling and looking up at dentist

  • Like your fingerprints, everyone has a unique set of teeth. Even identical twins have different “dental fingerprints.”
  • The stone-faced farmer in artist Grant Wood’s famous “American Gothic” painting was actually the artist’s dentist!
  • Sports-related injuries account for approximately 5 million missing teeth per year, so make sure you wear a mouthguard if you or your little ones are athletes.
  • Americans spend $100 billion per year on hair care products – and only $2 billion a year on dental care products. What good is great hair without a great smile?
  • Contrary to popular belief, George Washington’s famous dentures weren’t made from wood. His four pairs of custom chompers were crafted from gold, ivory, lead and a mixture of human, donkey, and hippopotamus teeth (take care of yours and you won’t have to think about it!).
  • The cotton candy making machine that made widely consumed cotton candy possible was co-invented by a dentist. Before it was cotton candy, the fluffy confection was called “fairy floss.”

Interested to know know more fascinating dental facts or just looking to book an appointment? Contact Smile Dental Centre today!

The Smile Dental Centre offers a full range of dental services backed by outstanding patient care for children and adults. The Smile Dental Centre won the Consumer Choice Award five years in a row (2013 – 2017) for general and cosmetic dentistry in the London, ON region. Now that’s something to smile about!