You might think ancient people didn’t care about their dental health, unlike the present people, due to the lack of records of having dentists in the past. However, despite the lack of dentists, people have been concerned about their teeth since 500 BC. Ancient Greeks and Romans used mixtures with crushed coral powder and iron rust to clean their teeth. The earlier toothbrush was made of twigs of a tree that people chew to freshen their breath.
Fortunately, we do not have to use crushed shells or chew a twig to clean our teeth. Due to the advancement of technology, dental care is made easily available for us. We have various tools and equipment that we can use to clean our teeth and even to enhance and beautify them. However, prevention is still a lot better than cure, so it is important to know more about our teeth and which behaviors can affect them to protect our precious smiles. We don’t want our smile to look like wincing, right? Therefore, read these 10 most interesting facts about our teeth.
1. Teeth are icebergs in your mouth
What we see in an iceberg is just a third of it, just like with our teeth. There’s a lot more beyond what our eyes can see with our teeth, which are covered by our gums. Because of this, we must always make sure that our gums are firm and pink to ensure that they can protect our teeth well.
2. You have teeth as unique as you
Just like your fingerprint, your teeth are unique and can’t be copied by anyone else. This is the reason why dental records can be used to recognize and identify human remains. And even if you have an identical twin, he can’t have the same teeth as yours. This is also the same with your special tongue print.
3. You have 16 lower teeth and 16 upper teeth
From the back of the mouth to the front, you have 12 molars, 8 premolars, 2 pairs of canine teeth and 8 incisors, which make up to a total of 32 teeth.
4. The hardest part of the body is the enamel
Your teeth’s outermost layer is called the enamel. It serves as the hard shell of the teeth to protect them. Like our bones, it is made up of phosphate and calcium, making it strong bones. However, due to its crystallites and special protein, it is harder than bones and the hardest part of our body.
5. Yellow teeth may indicate decay
It is not just a simple coffee or tea stain. One of the reasons behind your white teeth appearance is because of your teeth enamel. And when your teeth start to become yellow, this may indicate decay and it may also be one of the reasons why you feel pain in your gums.
6. The hardest but not invincible
Superman has his kryptonite; thus, even the strongest still has its weakness. Our enamel might be the hardest to protect our teeth but isn’t invincible from decays and cracks. Acids and sugars are the enemies of enamel, which can be found in chocolates and sodas. These enemies can interact with bacteria which later attack our enamel and can cause tooth decay. Sodas aren’t beneficial to our kidneys as well as to our teeth. Limit the intake of soft drinks if you want to protect your smile and teeth.
7. Enamel doesn’t grow, dentin does
Did you know that the layer under your enamel is more solid and compact than your bones? This layer is called dentin, composed of little passageways and channels that convey nutrition and nerve signals by the teeth. The three kinds of dentin are namely; primary, secondary and reparative. Unlike the enamel, our dentin changes and grows continually throughout lifetime.
8. 300 kinds of bacteria can be found inside our mouth
Plaque carries trillions of bacteria, composed of 200 to 300 distinct bacterial species. The bacteria named Streptococcus mutans is accountable for bad teeth health. These bacteria modify other carbohydrates and sugar into acids which contribute to tooth decay.
9. You make around 10,000 gallons of spit
Your body produces about 10,000 gallons of spit everyday. Saliva is crucial in our overall health. Saliva helps us to wash away food particles. It contains phosphate and calcium that play a major role in neutralizing the acids in the plaque, which cause damage to our teeth. Furthermore, saliva helps to swallow the food and aid in digestion easily.
10. Plaque is the culprit
A sticky substance that grows continually and may harden and becomes tartar if not removed regularly by flossing and brushing your teeth. It is recommended to have regular teeth cleanings as well to maintain healthy teeth.