68 most interesting dental facts that will blow your mind

As it turns out, most people only know a fraction of things about the dental world. Reading through these facts might help you realize this too. It may aid your oral health to learn a couple things. Plus, your new party trick could be shooting out teeth-related trivia.

Hyperdontia is a condition that causes too many teeth to grow in your mouth

Yes, this is the disease of your nightmares. Often causing many orthodontic problems, hyperdontia makes you grow extra teeth. In extreme cases, teeth can cover the whole roof of the mouth.

Regular dental cleanings can prevent heart attacks

Diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease can all be linked to poor oral hygiene. While regular dental cleanings are recommended by the ADA at least once a year, many Americans neglect to do this. So get your teeth cleaned before you need to visit a cardiologist!

Tooth buds appear before a child is born

The substance which eventually makes up your teeth forms in the sixth week of fetal development. The hard tissues appear around 3 to 4 months into the pregnancy. So even though a baby has no teeth, primary and secondary dentition is all queued up and ready to go when the right time comes!

75% of Americans store their toothbrush too close to the toilet

Toilet water can disperse as far as 6’ into the air when you flush. Meanwhile, as many as 3 out of every 4 Americans store their toothbrush closer to the loo. What’s more, 52% don’t close the lid when flushing. This means that your toothbrush is likely to have fecal matter on the bristles! It could cause the spread of infectious diseases.

Teeth can be implanted to help restore eyesight

A part of a canine or premolar tooth can be implanted upon the eye to help those with sight defects regain vision. The procedure was first conducted in the 1960s in Rome, but the method has been perfected since then.

Dental fillings are believed to be 13,000 years old

Yes, that’s right. Tooth decay has been around as long as we have. And it seems like ancient humans did not simply sit around with this problem on their hands. Scientists have recently found evidence of dental fillings being done in the hunter‐gatherer period in Italy. It was a little more brutal, though, as the earliest anesthetic wasn’t in use before 1846.

The Crocodile Bird cleans the crocodile’s teeth

Its real name is the Egyptian Plover and it eats leftover food particles and parasites. This is an example of symbiosis, a relation between two animals that is beneficial to both. You could say that the crocodile bird is a sort of a private dentist in the reptile kingdom.

Tooth enamel is the hardest biological material

Even though it is very thin, enamel is the hardest natural substance. In fact, it is harder than gold, silver, and steel! It is a lot more brittle, though, so it still wouldn’t make very good construction material.

A snail’s mouth is no larger than the head of a pin, but it can have over 25,000 teeth

Snails are the toothiest animals on earth. Their dentition may not be exactly the same as ours, but it serves the same purpose: it helps them eat. The umbrella slug goes through about 750,000 throughout its lifetime.

Spinach can minimize tooth sensitivity

When spinach breaks down in your mouth it merges with saliva to make calcium oxalate crystals. Those are commonly used in dental treatments, allegedly minimizing sensitivity by targeting dentin.

Here are even more facts for you, organized by category.

Brushing

  • You spend 38.5 days of your life brushing teeth
  • 41.4% of adults brush their teeth less than twice a day, increasing their risk of developing tooth decay by 33%
  • A regular toothbrush has about 2,500 bristles
  • Americans buy more than 14 million gallons of toothpaste every year
  • The first toothbrush with bristles was created in China in 1498 using bristles from hogs, horses, and badgers
  • Replacing a toothbrush after being sick helps prevent the potential of re-infection

Flossing

  • 73% of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss their teeth
  • Commercial dental floss was first created in 1882
  • The first material floss was made of silk
  • 28% of people claim they floss every day
  • In North America, people purchase over 3 million miles of dental floss every year

Smile-Related

  • The average woman smiles 62 times a day — the average man smiles just 8 times a day.
  • Children laugh on average 400 times a day — adults laugh just 15 times a day.
  • 48% of young adults have untagged themselves from a Facebook picture because they’re self-conscious about their smile.
  • It takes 43 muscles to frown while it takes just 17 muscles to smile.
  • 61% of adults are attracted to somebody simply because of their smile.

General Oral Health

  • Tooth decay is the second most common disease (the cold is the most common).
  • About 85% of people with bad breath have a dental condition that’s the cause.
  • Smoking can cause taste disorders.
  • Smokers are 3 times more likely to lose their teeth and 2-7 times more likely to develop periodontal disease than non-smokers.
  • According to an Authority Dental survey, 61.8% of people went to the dentist for regular exams at least once that year.
  • Americans spent $124 billion on dental expenditures in 2016.
  • Coconuts are naturally anti-bacterial and can help reduce the risk of gum disease and cavities. It can also help to brighten your smile.
  • About 75% of school children worldwide have dental cavities.
  • Almost 65 million American adults have some form of periodontal disease (38.4% women, 56.4% men).
  • Expectant mothers with bad oral hygiene are 7 times more likely to give birth to premature and low-birth-weight babies.
  • 95% of American adults with diabetes also have some form of periodontal disease
  • People with periodontal disease are 2 times more likely to develop heart disease
  • American children miss 51 million school hours a year due to dental-related issues
  • Children in North America spend nearly half a billion dollars on chewing gum each year

Weird

  • You know that we each have unique fingerprints, but did you know we each have unique tongue prints?
  • Americans most often choke on toothpicks than any other item
  • When you’re born, the tongue is the only fully developed organ
  • A mouth produces an average of 10,000 gallons of spit in a lifetime — enough to fill a very big swimming pool
  • Dental plaque is made up of more than 300 types of bacteria (300 reasons for why plaque needs to be removed!)
  • The holiday where people buy the most candy is Halloween (followed by Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day)
  • If you lived in the middle ages and had a toothache, it was customary to kiss a donkey
  • Tooth enamel is the hardest material in the human body
  • About 25% of American adults have no teeth
  • There are more bacteria in your mouth there are people on Planet Earth
  • If you drink one can of soda pop each day, you’d gain, on average, 15 pounds each year without otherwise changing your diet
  • When dinosaurs lost or broke a tooth, their bodies would grow new ones
  • One fossilized T-Rex tooth can be as heavy as one pound
  • In 200 A.D., the Romans cleaned their teeth with a mixture of bones, oyster shells, eggshells, and honey
  • In 1994, a West Virginia prison inmate braided dental floss into a rope and used it to scale the wall and escape
  • In the 1800s, barbers and blacksmiths also acted as dentists
  • George Washington’s teeth were made from gold, ivory, lead, and a mixture of human, donkey, and hippopotamus teeth
  • A dentist co-invented the cotton candy machine (which originally was called “fairy floss”)
  • The first known dentist was an Egyptian “doctor of the tooth” named Hesi-ren who lived around 3000 B.C.
  • The saying “cat got your tongue” started 2,500 years ago in ancient Assyria — victorious soldiers would seize their enemy (or criminals) and cut their tongues out to feed to the king’s cats
  • Since people have filled cavities, the materials they’ve used have included gum, stone chips, and turpentine resin
  • The lifespan of a taste bud is about 10 days
  • 60% of people don’t know that a sore jaw along with chest pain can be a sign of a heart attack (especially in women)
  • The most monetarily valuable tooth was Sir Isaac Newton’s — it was sold for $3,633.00 1816, which is over $35,000 today
  • A teaspoon of sugar after a spicy meal can get rid of the burning sensation
  • Dolphins use their teeth only to grab things, not to chew — dolphins don’t have jaw muscles.
  • Mosquitoes have 47 teeth
  • In the British Isles, many people expected to lose all their teeth by the time they got married, so they would often have their teeth extracted at an early age

Summary

As you can see, Americans spend lots of money on dental products (which is good) but they don’t do a great job taking care of their teeth and gums (which is not so good). Also, the world of dentistry has a wacky history and there are tons of dental facts that are just plain weird.

Now that you’ve read through this trivia compilation, go and impress your friends!