Does your kid find everything about teeth and dental health boring? Today, our Carbonear dentists share some fun dental facts that may pique your child's interest.
1. Even ancient populations knew how important oral hygiene is.
Compared to what we use today, ancient oral hygiene methods and practices seem rudimentary. People back then had certainly figured out that there is a connection between strong, healthy teeth and oral hygiene.
Ancient people attempted to use many different methods to clean their teeth. Some would go so far as to chew tree bark or wooden sticks with frayed ends to clean their teeth. Ancient Egyptians brushed their teeth with a powder made from pulverized eggshells and ox hooves mixed with water.
2. The modern toothbrush wasn't invented until the 1700s.
A man in England named William Addis 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. These products seem primitive compared to modern toothbrushes, but they were highly innovative at the time!
3. Even the Tooth Fairy is impacted by 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 approximately 3 million miles of dental floss annually.
But people still aren't flossing enough! Only 30% of North Americans report flossing every day.
5. In their lifetime the average human produces 25,000 quarts of spit.
Two swimming pools can be filled with this much drool! Gross.
6. Teeth can teach us a lot about the past.
The hardest part of any mammal is its teeth, therefore teeth are what fossilize most often. The shape, number, size, and organization of the teeth are different in every species of mammal, making them very helpful in classifying organisms (taxonomy). The fossil record would be much harder for us to understand without teeth.
7. Our of all the countries in the world, the United States has the most cavities per person.
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 an expression that means 'old'.
This phrase originated with horses. As horses get older, their gums start to recede and this makes it look like their teeth are growing. The longer the teeth look, the older the horse.
9. Snails have lots of teeth.
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 the law in Louisiana, if you bite a person with your natural teeth, it's assault, but if you bite them using dentures, it's aggravated assault.
This is because 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).