We all understand how important our teeth are– they helps break down food into smaller pieces so it’ll be easier to digest, and they also help with how we speak, making it easier to communicate with others. However, there’s more to teeth than that. In fact, it’s one of the most fascinating parts of human anatomy.
One such interesting fact about them is that while it’s widely believed that they’re part of the skeletal system, they’re actually not bone. Yes, they contain calcium and bone white, but the similarities end there. Teeth aren’t made from living tissue, so they won’t last as long and will eventually wear out. Bones, on the other hand, are made from living tissue and can heal and grow over time.
Are you ready to learn some more weird and wacky stuff about your teeth? Dentists in Durango CO, compiled a list of interesting dental facts below:
You have teeth when you are born.
Most of us were born with our milk teeth. They are fully formed and ready to grow when we reach four to seven months old.
Some babies are born with natal teeth or teeth that have already grown out of the gums. They are brown or yellow, small, loose, and can cause breastfeeding problems. Certain cultures regard them as good signs; however, they are weak and don’t fully develop.
Norway has a teeth bank.
The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study analyzes various diseases in mothers and children by collecting 100,000 baby teeth through the Norwegian Mother and Child Research Biobank of Milk Teeth.
The tooth bank was established in 2008 and has collected 35,000 milk teeth since then. It aims to become the largest tooth bank in the world for research purposes.
Researchers study milk teeth because they are durable when stored in a dry place and can last up to 100 years. They also contain biomarkers that tell the story of a child’s environment and nutrition.
They use all the information and knowledge they gather about teeth and diseases to help find the cause of the condition and prevent it from happening again.
Right-handed people chew on the right side of their mouths.
A study was published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation in 2004. It sought to determine whether chewing is similar to handedness or a person’s preference for one side over the other. The results showed that most people who prefer chewing on their right side were also right-side dominant. Their preferred chewing side was not affected by dental issues, gender, or dentures.
Each person has a unique tongue and set of teeth.
Did you know that every person’s teeth and tongue are unique, like fingerprints? Even identical twins may not have the same tongue surface patterns and teeth.
Tongues can have unique colors, shapes, and surface features specific to each person. There are also differences between males and females. Researchers are now studying their potential use in biometric authentication and forensics.
Teeth are also just as unique. A person’s smile can reveal their age, habits, and dental treatment they have. It can even tell a person’s gender.
Forensic investigators can also retrieve DNA samples from the tooth’s pulp, which can last hundreds of years if not exposed to extreme heat.
Enamel is the strongest substance within the body.
Enamel ranks five on Moh’s Hardness Scale. It is 96% mineral, which is the highest in any part of the body. It has a complex structure of tightly bundled, oblong-shaped crystals that are 1000 times smaller than a hair strand. However, it won’t grow back like bones because it’s mostly mineral.
Over 700 kinds of bacteria live in your mouth.
You have bacteria in your mouth the moment you’re born; a mother can pass on their oral bacteria to their baby. This highlights the importance of good oral health throughout pregnancy.
Seven hundred kinds of bacteria call your mouth “home.” Some are good, and some are not. Most will be on your tongue, where they multiply every four to five hours.
Your oral health depends on finding the right balance of good and harmful bacteria. Good bacteria fight the growth of cavity-causing bacteria and help you digest food.
Smiles are very attractive.
Researchers examined the relationship between attractiveness and emotional expressions in a 2013 study published by Cognition & Emotion. They found that participants found someone more attractive the more they smiled, even if their other features weren’t very attractive. The study also showed that facial attractiveness affects how happy someone is perceived to be–the happier one seems to be, the more attractive one can get.
Victorians used acid and charcoal to whiten their teeth.
Victorians were aware of their dental health and had books that recommended brushing at least five times daily. There were many recipes for teeth whitening, including one that used charcoal mixed with honey. The mixture whitened their teeth to a certain extent, but it would cause irritation and inflammation of the gums, leading to gum disease.
Furthermore, they bleached the teeth with oxalic, diluted nitric acid, sodium chloride, or potassium cyanide.
Teeth and other aspects of oral health care may seem boring, but as you can see from the interesting facts mentioned above, they are not. Aside from being an important part of speech and digestion, there’s more to your teeth than meets the eye.