Try some of the fun dental facts listed below to pique your kids' interest if they find everything about dental health and teeth boring.
1. Even ancient populations understood the importance of oral hygiene.
While ancient oral hygiene methods and practices may appear primitive in comparison to those used today, people back then clearly understood the link between oral hygiene and strong, healthy teeth.
To keep their teeth clean, ancient people tried a variety of methods. To clean their teeth, some people will chew tree bark or wooden sticks with frayed ends. Ancient Egyptians used a powder made from pulverized eggshells and ox hooves mixed with water to brush their teeth.
2. The modern toothbrush was not developed until the 1700s.
William Addis, an Englishman, created the first mass-produced toothbrush by glueing boar bristles to a bone handle. Brushes with nylon bristles and ergonomic handles were developed in the 1930s. These items may appear primitive in comparison to modern toothbrushes, but they were groundbreaking at the time!
3. Not even the Tooth Fairy is immune to inflation.
The Tooth Fairy requires a lot more silver today than she did in 1900 when she left an average of $12 per tooth. She left an average of one dollar in 1998. In the year 2013, the average cost of a tooth was $3.50. It was not uncommon for children to discover a $5 bill under their pillows in 2018! How much are you going to get?
4. North Americans use around 3 million miles of dental floss every year.
But we're still not flossing enough! Only 30% of North Americans report flossing once a day.
5. The average human produces 25,000 quarts of spit in a 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, so they're the part that gets fossilized the most. Every mammal's teeth are different in size, number, shape, and organization, making them extremely useful in organism classification (taxonomy). Without teeth, deciphering the fossil record would be much more difficult.
7. The United States has the most cavities per person out of all the countries in the world.
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 a phrase meaning 'old'.
This expression originated with horses. As horses age, their gums recede, making it seem like their teeth are growing. The longer the teeth look, the older the horse.
9. Snails have teeth. Lots of them.
Snails and slugs eat with a jaw and a radula, which is a flexible band of thousands of microscopic teeth. Food particles are scraped up, or rasped, by the radula, and larger pieces of food, such as leaves, are cut off by the jaw to be rasped by the radula.
10. According to Louisiana law, if you bite someone with your natural teeth, it's assault, but 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).