Do your kids find teeth and dental health boring? Share with them a few of these fun dental facts shared by our Saskatoon dentists that could help make them interested.
1. Even ancient populations knew oral hygiene is important.
Compared to what we use today, ancient oral hygiene practices and methods seem rudimentary but, people in those days certainly did figure out that there is a link between oral hygiene and strong, healthy teeth.
Ancient people tried using a variety of methods to keep their teeth clean. 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 using a powder made from pulverized eggshells and ox hooves mixed with water.
2. The modern toothbrush wasn't established till 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. The Tooth Fairy isn't immune to inflation.
Nowadays, the Tooth Fairy requires a lot more silver than she did back in 1900, that's when she was leaving an average of twelve cents per tooth. In 1998, the average amount per tooth was one dollar. In 2013, the average rate was $3.50. In 2018, it was common for children to get a $5 bill under their pillows! How much does the tooth fairy give you?
4. North Americans use approximately 3 million miles of dental floss each year.
However, we still aren't flossing enough! Only 30% of North Americans report flossing every day.
5. Each person produces an average of 25,000 quarts of spit in their 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 for us to understand.
7. The United States has the most cavities per person out of all the countries in the world.
However, in several countries (like China), people eat such small amounts of sugar that some cities are entirely free of cavities.
8. 'Long in the tooth' is a phrase meaning 'old'.
Horses are the source of this expression. As horses get older, their gums recede, giving the appearance that their teeth are growing. The longer a horses' teeth look the older they are.
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. By law in Louisiana, it's considered assault if you bite someone with your natural teeth, however, if you bite them with 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).