1. Even ancient populations cared about oral hygiene.
Many ancient civilizations tried anything they could to clean their teeth and keep them as healthy as possible. While ancient oral hygiene methods seem rudimentary compared to those we use today, people back then had definitely figured out that there is a connection between oral hygiene and strong, healthy teeth that last longer.
Ancient people tried many different methods to keep their teeth clean. Some would try chewing 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 was not developed until the 1700s.
In the 1700s, an man English man named William Addis attached boar bristles to a bone handle to create the first mass-produced toothbrush. Brushes with nylon bristles and ergonomic handles were developed later in the 1930s. These products seem primitive compared to modern toothbrushes, but they were highly innovative at the time!
3. Not even the Tooth Fairy is immune to inflation!
Today, the Tooth Fairy needs a lot more baby teeth than she did in the early 1900s, when she only left about twelve cents per tooth for children. In 1998, she would leave an average of one dollar. By 2013, the modern rate for a tooth reached an average of $3.50, and in 2018, the rate had gone up enough for kids to find a $5 bill under their pillows!
Is it possible healthier teeth have become worth more over the years? How much do you get?
4. North Americans use around 3 million miles of dental floss yearly.
But we're still not flossing enough! Only 30% of North Americans report that they floss once a day.
5. The average human being produces 25,000 quarts of spit in their life.
That's enough drool to fill two swimming pools. Gross!
6. Teeth can tell us a lot about our past.
Teeth are the hardest body 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 and species. Without teeth, the fossil record would be quite a lot harder to for us to understand!
7. The United States has the most cavities per person out of all the countries in the world.
On the other hand, some countries, like China, have citizens who eat such small amounts of sugar that there are entire cities that are 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 have jaws and a flexible band of thousands of microscopic teeth called a radula inside of it. When eating, the radula scrapes up, or "rasps," food particles while the jaw cuts off larger pieces of food.
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 standard assault is committed with your person or body, and aggravated assault is committed with a dangerous weapon (which dentures are, if you're using them to bite people).