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10 Fun Facts to Entertain You on The Way to Your Barrie Family Dentist

A trip to your family dentist in Barrie might seem like any other old errand, or like something your parents make you do. It’s important to keep your teeth clean (after all, they’ll be with you for the rest of your life), but there’s a lot more to teeth than you might think! Check out some of the coolest facts we’ve found about teeth, and how they’ve been cleaned, decorated, and used throughout history.

1. Your Teeth Are the Hardest Material in Your Body

It’s true! The white enamel that covers your teeth is the hardest material in your body. It’s even stronger than bone. Different types of minerals account for 96% of what enamel is made of, which helps explain why your teeth are so good at chomping. Your teeth are even strong enough to resist getting scratched by steel. That’s pretty strong!

2. People Have Decorated Their Teeth for Thousands of Years

Humans have been looking after their teeth for thousands of years, and different cultures all over the world had different ways of modifying their teeth to look the way they wanted them to. Some people put jewels or gold in the front of their teeth, and other people carved designs on the front. Today, most people keep their teeth plain, but make sure they’re clean and healthy.

3. Even Cavemen Cleaned Their Teeth

Toothbrushes as we know them – a handle with bristles on one end – have been around since at least 619 AD. Before that, chew sticks were used for cleaning teeth as far back as 3500 BC. Chew sticks were what they sound like: sticks with one frayed end that would then be used to clean the teeth. Even farther back than that, there’s archaeological evidence to suggest that cavemen used sticks to get chunks of food out from their teeth and keep them as clean as possible. Thankfully, humans eventually figured out how to make bristles from animal hair and, today, from synthetic materials.

4. Flossing Cleans Way More of Your Tooth Than You Think

Flossing takes time to do well, but it’s super important to keep your teeth clean. If you don’t floss, you could leave up to 40% of your teeth covered in plaque and food. That’s almost half your whole tooth, and the less clean your teeth are, the more likely bacteria is to move in and start creating cavities!

5. Your Mouth Makes a Lot of Spit

The average adult produces 1.5 liters of spit (also known as saliva) every day. That’s as much as one and a half large pop bottles! That might seem like a gross statistic, but saliva’s actually super important for your teeth. It’s 99.5% water, and it helps wash away food particles that would otherwise get stuck to your teeth when you’re eating. It helps prevent tooth decay, and since the last 0.5% of saliva contains calcium, fluoride, and phosphate, your spit helps protect and develop your teeth when they first come in.

6. Animals Have Some Really Crazy Teeth

What’s the smallest animal you can think of? Do you think it has teeth? We bet you’d be surprised at just how many! A snail has up to 12,000 tiny teeth, and sea slugs go through 750,000 teeth throughout their lifetime. There’s even a species of duck (appropriately called the Sawbill) that has over 150 sharp teeth in its beak.

7. Over 300 Types of Bacteria Make Plaque

Plaque is the gunk that collects on the outside of your teeth, and you probably already know that if it’s left in place for too long, it can wear holes in your tooth. But you probably didn’t know that 60-70% of plaque is made purely out of bacteria (ew!), and you can usually find over 300 types of bacteria in a single bit of plaque. If you’ve ever wondered why it’s so important to brush your teeth, now you know!

8. Smiles Really Do Make the World a Better Place

When you smile, making that expression triggers the release of specific chemicals in your brain that can actually make you feel happier. What’s even better is that, like yawns, smiles are contagious. Our brains are naturally wired to want to smile back when someone smiles at us. That’s a lot of happiness to spread around!

9. Your Tongue is as Unique as Your Fingers

In almost any crime movie or TV show, fingerprints are used to identify someone. That’s because no two people have exactly the same fingerprints. However, did you know that the same thing is true of your tongue? That’s right – no two people have exactly the same tongue-print.

10. Teeth Record Your Life’s Story

Your teeth are there with you for your whole life – and they keep a record of where you lived, what you ate, and how healthy you were. That’s one of the reasons that teeth are such a valuable archaeological find. Teeth can show how old you are, and can even keep a record of when you were sick or stressed for a long time.

Now you know ten cool facts about teeth and the history of dentistry – was it what you expected or did a few surprise you? We hope this has been informational and fun to read on your way to visit your Barrie family dentist. We hope you have a great check-up!

For more information on our dental services in Barrie, or to learn more about our family dentistry, give us a call at (705) 721-1143. You can also contact us online.

Dr. Elston Wong Portrait

About Dr. Elston Wong

Dr. Elston Wong completed his dental degree at The University of Toronto in 1999 before arriving in Barrie in 2002. After graduating, he continued to learn everything he could about dentistry. Now he has taken the time to share important information for anyone to read.

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