1. There are signs that oral hygiene was considered even in ancient civilizations.
While ancient oral hygiene methods and practices seem rudimentary compared to those we use today, people back then had already made the connection between oral hygiene and having strong, healthy teeth.
Ancient people tried many different methods to keep their teeth clean. Some would go so far as to chew 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. Toothbrushes as we know them weren't invented until the 1700s.
A man in England named William Addis attached boar bristles to a bone handle to create the first mass-produced toothbrush. In the 1930s, brushes with nylon bristles and ergonomic handles were developed. While these toothbrushes may not seem all that modern they were compared to dental cleaning options before then!
3. The Tooth Fairy's prices have gone up with inflation.
Did you know that in the 1900s, the Tooth Fairy was only leaving around 12 cents for each tooth collected? In 1998, she left an average of one dollar. In 2013, the going rate for a tooth reached an average of $3.50. In 2018, it was not uncommon for kids to find a $5 bill under their pillows! How much does the Tooth Fairy usually leave for your teeth?
4. Here in North America we use almost 5 million kilometres of dental floss each year.
Even with all that dental floss only around 30% of us are flossing. We need to work hard at making flossing a regular part of our daily oral hygiene routine.
5. The average human produces over 23,000 litres of spit in a lifetime.
Did you know that two entire swimming pools can be filled with all that saliva? Ewww!
6. Teeth often become fossilized making them a great way to learn about the world.
Teeth are the hardest 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 (taxonomy). Without teeth, the fossil record would be quite a lot harder for us to understand.
7. Out of all the countries of the world, the United States has the highest percentage of cavities.
On the other hand, in some countries (like China), people eat such small amounts of sugar that there are regions that see nearly no cavities at all!
8. 'Long in the tooth' is a saying that actually means to be 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. Your common garden snail actually has many teeth.
Snails and slugs eat with a jaw and a flexible band of thousands of microscopic teeth called a radula. The radula scrapes up, or rasps, food particles and the jaw cuts off larger pieces of food, like a leaf, to be rasped by the radula.
10. In some states such as Louisiana, 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 while 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).