If your children find dental health and teeth to be boring, try some of the fun dental facts listed below to pique their interest!
1. Even ancient populations understood the importance of oral hygiene.
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.
To keep their teeth clean, ancient people tried a variety of methods. To clean their teeth, some people will chew tree bark or wooden sticks with frayed ends. The Ancient Egyptians used a powder made from pulverized eggshells and ox hooves mixed with water to brush their teeth.
2. The modern toothbrush was not developed until the 1700s.
In England, William Addis created the first mass-produced toothbrush by attaching boar bristles to a bone handle. Brushes with nylon bristles and ergonomic handles were developed in the 1930s. When compared to modern toothbrushes, these items appear primitive, but they were highly innovative at the time!
3. Not even the Tooth Fairy is immune to inflation.
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. North Americans use around 3 million miles of dental floss every year.
But we're still not flossing enough! Only 30% of North Americans report flossing once a day.
5. The average human produces 25,000 quarts of spit in a lifetime.
That's enough drool to fill two swimming pools! Gross.
6. Teeth can tell us a lot about the past.
Teeth are the hardest part of any mammal, so they are the most frequently fossilized. The size, number, shape, and organization of teeth differ between mammal species, making them extremely useful in organism classification (taxonomy). Without teeth, understanding the fossil record would be much more difficult.
7. The United States has the most cavities per person out of all the countries in the world.
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 meaning '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. Snails have teeth. Lots of them.
Snails and slugs eat with a jaw and a radula, which is a flexible band of thousands of microscopic teeth. The radula scrapes up, or rasps, food particles, while the jaw cuts off larger pieces of food, such as a leaf, for the radula to rasp.
10. According to Louisiana law, if you bite someone with your natural teeth, it's assault, but if you bite them with dentures, it's aggravated assault.
This is due to the fact that simple assault is committed with your person, whereas aggravated assault is committed with a dangerous weapon (which dentures are if you're biting people).