Most people don’t think much about their molars and canines – unless they have a cavity driving them crazy - and most of the facts about teeth you know you’ve probably heard from your dentist. However, there are lots of intriguing facts about teeth that may actually surprise you.
Table of contents:
- the enamel
- chinese customs
- filling cavities
- mayan jewels
- america's dental issues
- are root canals painful?
- tooth length
- dentists vs. cell phones
- how old are dental braces?
1 The Enamel
One of the more intriguing facts about teeth that you probably haven’t heard of yet has to do with the enamel – one of the highly important materials that make up your tooth. Not many people know that, though quite easily damaged, the enamel is actually the hardest substance in the entire human body.
2 Chinese Customs
Aside from having invented the first toothbrush with bristles in 1498, the Chinese are known for quite a few intriguing customs associated with teeth. Did you know that the ancient Chinese used to wrap tiny pieces of parchment around their teeth with written incantations to relieve toothaches?
3 Filling Cavities
Over the centuries, dentists have used a variety of materials to fill cavities – some of which quite curious. Here are just a few of them: turpentine resin, lead, cork, gold foil, stone chips and even gum. Pierre Fauchard, referred to by many as the father of modern dentistry, was a "fan" of lead cylinders and tin foil.
4 Mayan Jewels
Tooth implants are known as a modern practice, but many don’t know that, more than 2,500 years ago, the ancient Mayans used to bejewel their teeth, using primitive drills to carve holes into their teeth and insert gemstones or other jewels.
5 America's Dental Issues
One of the most surprising facts about teeth is that, in America, more than 75% of the population has some form of periodontal gum disease – known as the most common cause for tooth loss over the age of 35.
6 Are Root Canals Painful?
There are a lot of myths about root canal operations, including their notoriety for being exceedingly painful. If you live in the 21st century, however, chances are you have nothing to worry about. Newer, more advanced filler methods and technologies eliminate the need for more than one dental appointment and considerably reduce the pain linked to the procedure.
7 Tooth Length
One of the interesting facts about teeth is that the part of the tooth you’d normally see when looking in the mirror only constitutes about 2/3 of its real length, the rest being at a deeper level, covered by your gums.
8 Dentists Vs. Cell Phones
Another surprising fact about teeth and the fear of dental appointments is that almost 60% of people would rather go to the dentist and risk being subjected to painful procedures than be in the presence of around someone talking on a cell phone.
9 How Old Are Dental Braces?
Did you know that dental braces are some of the oldest accessories used for improving dental health? Scholars like Aristotle and Hippocrates came up with innovations to promote straight and healthy teeth, but the oldest dental braces were invented far earlier, dating back to more than 4000 years ago!
As you can see, teeth are not necessarily a boring (or painful) topic, and you can probably find a lot more weird or interesting things about them, if you dig a little deeper. Do you know of any other unusual or fun facts about teeth you’d want to share? I’d love to hear them!
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