If your kids find everything to do with dental health and teeth boring, try some of the fun dental facts listed below to pique their interest!
1. Even ancient populations understood the importance of oral hygiene.
While ancient oral hygiene methods and practices 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.
Ancient people used a variety of techniques to keep their teeth clean. To clean their teeth, some individuals would chew tree bark or wooden sticks with frayed ends. Ancient Egyptians used a mixture of eggshell powder and ox hoof powder with water to brush their teeth.
2. The modern toothbrush was not developed until the 1700s.
William Addis attached boar bristles to a bone handle in England to create the first mass-produced toothbrush. Brushes with nylon bristles and ergonomic handles were developed in the 1930s. Compared to modern toothbrushes, these products appear primitive, but they were highly innovative at the time!
3. Not even the Tooth Fairy is immune to inflation.
Today, the Tooth Fairy requires significantly more silver than in 1900, when she left an average of twelve cents per tooth. She left an average of one dollar in 1998. In 2013, the average price for a single tooth was $3.50. In 2018, it was common for children to discover a five dollar bill under their pillows. How much do you get?
4. North Americans use around 3 million miles of dental floss every year.
But we're still not flossing enough! Only 30% of North Americans report flossing once a day.
5. The average human produces 25,000 quarts of spit in a lifetime.
That's enough drool to fill two swimming pools! Gross.
6. Teeth can tell us a lot about the past.
Teeth are the hardest part of any mammal, making them the most frequently fossilized part. Mammal species differ in the size, number, shape, and organization of their teeth, making them a valuable tool in the classification of organisms (taxonomy). Without teeth, the fossil record would be considerably more difficult to interpret.
7. The United States has the most cavities per person out of all the countries in the world.
On the other hand, in some countries (like China), people eat such small amounts of sugar that entire cities are completely 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 consume food with a jaw and a radula, a flexible band of thousands of microscopic teeth. The radula rasps food particles, while the jaw cuts off larger pieces of food, such as a leaf, for the radula to rasp.
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 due to the fact that simple assault is committed with your body, whereas aggravated assault is committed with a dangerous weapon (which dentures are if they are used to bite people).