They help you chew, speak and smile, but how much do you really know about your teeth? Depending on one’s hygiene and luck, they stick with you forever. We often don’t pay much attention to them unless we are brushing or they start hurting. Today, we are going to take a closer look at some interesting facts or “tooth truths”, that show how remarkable your teeth really are.
1. Scientists can tell a great deal about us just by examining our teeth.
Did you know that your teeth can reveal how old you are? In fact, by taking a closer look, scientists can exactly tell what we eat and drink; even where on Earth we may have lived. Our teeth also carry a great deal of information such as clues about our overall health, the amount of stress we have endured or illnesses. To put things short, they are a lasting record of our personal history.
2. Your dominant hand is also likely to be your dominant chewing side.
It’s a well known fact that we all have a dominant hand or foot. It turns out that most of us also have a dominant chewing side and typically, if you’re right-handed, you’ll tend to chew on your right side. If you are left-handed, your dominant chewing side will likely be on the left. Another study published in the US National Library of Medicine also found that in general, women believe they chew more on one side than the other, whereas men feel they chew on both sides equally.
3. Brushing only cleans about 60% of your teeth.
Since the early days we have been taught that we have to brush twice a day for healthy teeth. It turns out that brushing only cleans about 60% of plaque and tartar. In order to get rid of the remaining 40% of the plaque and tartar that builds up daily in your mouth and on your teeth, you should floss. Flossing gets rid of the other 40%, as it reaches places where toothbrush bristles just cannot go. So, next time you brush, take a few extra minutes to floss.
4. Only one-third of the tooth is actually visible. The remaining is hidden underneath the gums.
Even though only one-third is visible, the average person spends 38.5 days brushing their teeth over their lifetime.
5. If you get your tooth knocked out, put it back in place in less than five minutes and see a dentist a.s.a.p.
It’s not uncommon for a tooth to get knocked out. Whether it be accidental or because of your mischievous behavior, if you ever get one knocked out, dental experts suggest to put it in milk and hold it in your mouth since this will give it much better odds to help it survive. Then, go see a dentist immediately and they might be able to help the tooth stick back to your gum.
6. Soda is actually bad for your teeth.
Soda is one of the top 5 most popular beverages in America since people are able to get their caffeine faster. The sugar in soda combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which in turn is actually bad for your teeth. Diet or “sugar-free” soda contains its own acid, which also can damage teeth. Drinking soda daily can in fact cause the enamel to weaken, thus increasing the speed of tooth decay. Studies show that drinking three or more glasses of soda a day contributes to 62% more tooth decay. So, if you want to stay healthy and also look after your teeth, drink water instead.
7. During the Middle Ages, people would kiss donkeys to relieve toothaches.
People in the middle ages might have had healthier teeth than ours because of the combination of a diet very low in sugar and refined foods and high in calcium. However, when someone suffered from a toothache, “dental experts” would advise them to go kiss a donkey and they would assure them that it was a sure-fire way to stop a toothache.
8. Eating greens before eating a full meal actually protects your teeth from staining.
Foods such as tomato sauce, pasta sauce, berries, and balsamic vinegar can give you stained teeth. Drinks such as coffee, soda, sports beverages, and tea are also liquid culprits to stain your teeth. There are many preventive measures you can take to stop your teeth from staining and one of the easiest includes eating greens before your meal. Munch on a salad or dark green vegetables like broccoli before eating a tooth-staining food like tomato sauce. Why? The greens will provide your teeth with a protective film, which helps deter staining from foods.
9. Eating cheese can also help neutralize the acids causing stains, and can also help strengthen teeth.
When we say cheese, it’s not shredded or Parmesan that goes in with your salad. In order to prevent staining your teeth, you can also eat hard cheese after the offending foods or drinks. The cheese will help neutralize the acid in plaque.
10. Your teeth are as unique as your fingerprints. No two people have the same set.
It’s true that our teeth are as unique as our fingerprints. Your set of teeth are extremely unique, which means that no other human being on Earth would have the same pattern, ridges and structure that your set of teeth creates. This is one of the reasons why investigators use dental records to identify people.
11. Teeth are stronger than bones.
Your bones might be strong, but not as strong as your teeth. Human teeth are composed of calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals but mostly consist of the protein collagen. According to Live Science, the hardest part of the human body, teeth, mostly consist of a calcified tissue called dentine. Studies show that a single tooth can resist up to 30,000 pounds of compressive force. If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. Tooth enamel is also harder than steel, but breaks much easier.
12. There are many different types of teeth!
Humans alone have four different types of teeth – incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. All of which are used to cut, tear, and grind your food.