Do your kids find everything to do with teeth and dental health boring? These fun dental facts may be just what you need to pique their interest!
1. Even ancient populations understood the importance of oral hygiene.
While ancient oral hygiene practices and techniques seem rudimentary compared to those used today, people back then had definitely understood that maintaining oral hygiene would keep their teeth strong and healthy.
Ancient people had many different ways to keep their teeth clean. Some would go as far as to chew tree bark or wooden sticks with frayed ends to clean their teeth. 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.
William Addis, who lived in England, attached boar bristles to a bone handle to create the first mass-produced toothbrush. In the 1930s, brushes with nylon bristles and ergonomic handles were developed. While these products seem primitive compared to modern toothbrushes, they were highly innovative at the time.
3. Even the Tooth Fairy has to account for inflation.
Did you know the Tooth Fairy left an average of twelve cents per tooth in 1900? Today, she needs a lot more coin. In 1998, she left an average of one dollar and by 2013, the going rate for a tooth reached an average of $3.50. In 2018, kids might have found a $5 under their pillows for each tooth lost! How much do you get?
4. North Americans use around 3 million miles of dental floss each year.
However, we're still not flossing enough! Only 30% of North Americans report flossing once every 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, 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 to for us to understand.
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 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. 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 because while 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).