Get The Most Interesting Dental Facts & Impress Your Friends

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As it turns out, most people only know a fraction of things about the dental world. Once you read through these facts, you’ll realize this too.

But once you do, you’ll be so much more knowledgeable! Plus, you’ll have some crazy nuggets of knowledge to share with your friends.

Dental Facts You Need To Know

These facts will make you smile, they’ll make your jaw drop, and they’ll make you say, “Hmm, interesting.”

We organized these facts into the sections Brushing, Flossing, Weird Dental Facts, Smile-Related, and General Oral Health. As you’ll notice, most of the facts fall under the “Weird Dental Facts” 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
  • Dentists recommend you keep your toothbrush at least six feet away from the toilet to avoid airborne particles from the flushing, but only 24.9% of Americans meet this condition
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Teeth begin forming before we are born
  • 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
  • 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
  • Even though a snail’s mouth is smaller than the head of a pin, it can have over 25,000 teeth
  • 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
  • A spoonful of sugar added to a vase can make flowers last longer
  • 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, American’s spend lots of money on dental products (which is good) but they also don’t do a great job taking care of their teeth and gums (which is not so good). Also, the dental world has a wacky history and there are tons of dental facts that are just plain weird.

Now that you’ve read these facts, go impress your friends with them!


Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK8259/
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/bad-breath
https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Science%20and%20Research/HPI/Files/HPIBrief_1217_1.pdf?la=en
https://www.statista.com/statistics/378611/us-oral-care-products-dollar-sales-by-category/
https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/08/31/427735692/are-women-better-tasters-than-men
https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11762186
https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/how-much-saliva-do-we-produce-in-a-lifetime/
https://www.perio.org/consumer/quarter-of-adults-dishonest-with-dentists
https://www.ama.org/publications/eNewsletters/MHSNewsletter/Pages/dental-marketers-respond-to-flossing-futility-headlines.aspx
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022034515598961?_ga=2.130346639.1220856792.1548265965-849360398.1548265965
https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/who-invented-dental-floss
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-possibility-paradigm/201106/youre-not-laughing-enough-and-thats-no-joke
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/brushing-and-flossing/ada-01-twins-study-confirms-benefits-of-flossing
https://www.sharksider.com/know-dangerous-shark%E2%80%A8/
https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/oct/06/eco-toothbrushes-biodegradable-bamboo-pig-hair-yogurt-pots-plastic-waste-landfill

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