Fun Dental Facts You Didn't Know
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Dental health is more than just regular cleanings or the occasional procedure. The mouth, and all that goes with it, is quite fascinating. So, what are some fun facts on teeth? Here are 13 fun dental facts that prove just how interesting teeth can be.

#1 Tooth Enamel is the Hardest Substance in the Body

People often assume bones are the hardest substance in the body. The correct answer is actually tooth enamel. Teeth have a distinctive look because they are covered by enamel. Enamel is comprised mostly of hydroxyapatite. It also contains magnesium, sodium, fluoride, and carbonate.  Tooth enamel's job is to provide a protective shell around each tooth. This is probably one of the more well-known teeth facts. The following fact might not be so well known.

#2 Teeth Are Not Bones

Surprisingly, teeth are not bones. Bones and teeth are similar - they certainly look similar - as both contain nerves and blood vessels. Both are also primarily calcium. The difference is that bones produce marrow while teeth do not.

"Teeth are similar to fingerprints in that they are totally one of a kind. The same goes for a tongue print."

#3 Sports Are a Leading Cause of Dental Injuries in Children

Many kids play sports, whether in recreational or school leagues, or simply on their own. Sports cause 10% to 39% of dental injuries in children. Broken and chipped teeth are common injuries. Children can reduce the risk of an oral injury by wearing protective gear - especially a mouthguard! 

#4 Tooth Enamel Does Not Grow Back

Despite being the hardest substance in the human body, tooth enamel doesn't regenerate. The body heals itself from a cut or even a broken bone. But teeth don't self-repair once enamel erosion takes place.

You can, however, strengthen and repair existing enamel through a process called remineralization. Remineralization occurs when minerals like fluoride, calcium, and phosphate reunite with your enamel. This happens through food and water consumption.

#5 Functions of Saliva

Despite not being red, saliva comes from blood. Still, people might not realize how important it is to oral health. Here are the important functions saliva performs:

  • Washes away food from teeth and gums
  • Makes food easier to swallow by breaking it down
  • Enhances the ability to taste
  • Helps prevent cavities and oral infections
  • Delivers calcium and fluoride to teeth to keep them strong

#6 Each Person’s Teeth Are Unique

Teeth are similar to fingerprints in that they are totally one of a kind. The same goes for a tongue print. No two sets of teeth or tongues are the same.

This could very well be the most interesting dental fact you know. That is if you are not fascinated by the thought of filling a swimming pool with saliva.

#7 Tooth Care Is Centuries Old

The toothbrush has had many forms dating thousands of years. The first toothbrushes were twigs people chewed on. They used the frayed end of the twig to clean their teeth.

Around 5,000 B.C., Egyptians used crushed eggshells and ground animal hooves to clean their teeth. A British inventor developed a bone handle combined with boar bristles inserted into small holes and secured with wires. That brush was first used in China.

The modern-day toothbrush — nylon bristles — wasn’t developed until the late 1930s. The first electric toothbrush was invented in 1954.

#8 Teeth Reveal Facts About Each Person

Scientists use teeth to identify features and history specific to each person. Teeth reveal a person’s age, what they eat and drink, and even where they lived. Teeth also are used to identify specific health issues, past illnesses, and times of stress. Teeth record an individual’s personal history.

Illustration of hygienist and dentist working on a tooth

#9 Tooth Formation Exists When a Baby is Born

The crowns of a baby’s first 20 teeth exist underneath their gums the day they are born. Babies eventually begin teething, some between the ages of 3 to 6 months. Crowns and roots of adult teeth begin forming underneath baby teeth during childhood.

#10 Even More Fun Dental Facts

Here are some dental fun facts about various dentistry and oral health aspects:

Oddly Amusing Dental Facts

Here are some amusing dental facts:

  • People prefer blue toothbrushes over red ones!
  • Teeth are part of the digestive system since they chew food into smaller, digestible pieces 
  • Get your children to brush their teeth for a set time period by playing their favorite song. Keep brushing until the music stops!
  • Some children don't finish losing their baby teeth until the age of 12

Facts About Tooth Decay

Here are some astounding facts about tooth decay:

  • Cavities and periodontal disease are the two biggest threats to a healthy mouth
  • Both are among the most common chronic diseases in the United States 
  • Cavities are the most common chronic disease in children
  • Untreated periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults
  • One-quarter of adults 65 or older have lost all of their teeth due to untreated periodontal disease

Facts About Dentists

No list would be complete without some funny dentist facts.

  • Toothache treatment options were a bit different during medieval times. Earthworms were boiled in oil. The oil was then placed into an ear. Treatment for a loose tooth consisted of tying a frog to the jaw. And in Germany, kissing a donkey supposedly cured a toothache.
  • In early American times, dentists often doubled as blacksmiths or barbers since both professions required sharp tools. Keep in mind, though, that back then there were no numbing agents so imagine the pain associated with dental work!
  • Teeth cannot repair themselves. That is why practicing good oral care and getting regular dental cleanings are so important. You need to make those teeth last!

Find a Dentist Near Me

Consult your dentist to discuss any oral health questions or simply chat about fun facts about teeth. Or, check out our find a dentist tool to near you for all your oral health needs. You can read patient reviews, peruse staff bios, and schedule an appointment online with a click of your mouse.

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Sources

“7 Fun and Interesting Facts About Kids’ Teeth,” Innovative Pediatric Dentistry, January 21, 2020, https://www.innovativepediatricdentistry.com/7-fun-and-interesting-facts-about-kids-teeth/ 

“Your Teeth Are Amazing! 5 Fascinating Facts,” Mouth Healthy, https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/fun-teeth-facts 

“25 Interesting Facts About Your Teeth,” Radomile Family Dental Care, Jun 23, 2021, https://radomilefamilydental.com/facts-about-teeth/ 

"Surprising Oral Health Facts About Children," Colgate, https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/kids-oral-care/surprising-oral-health-facts-about-children 

"Dental Trivia: Fun Teeth Facts For Kids," Colgate, https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/kids-oral-care/dental-trivia-fun-teeth-facts-for-kids 

"What Is Tooth Enamel?" Colgate, https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/mouth-and-teeth-anatomy/what-is-tooth-enamel# 

"Are Teeth Bones?" Colgate, https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/mouth-and-teeth-anatomy/are-teeth-bones 

"How To Remineralize Your Teeth," Colgate, https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cavities/can-you-remineralize-teeth 

"Can Tooth Enamel Be Restored?" Colgate, https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/adult-oral-care/can-tooth-enamel-be-restored

Benjamin, Regina M., "Oral Health: The Silent Epidemic," National Library of Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2821841/

"Excessive Saliva? What It Could Mean (and How to Deal)," Colgate, https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/adult-oral-care/excessive-saliva#

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