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Fun Dental Facts

Updated on December 2, 2012

Some Really Cool Facts About Teeth

Humans have 4 different types of teeth in our mouths, and each type of tooth serves a different purpose. The different types of teeth include: incisors (used for biting), canines (used for tearing), premolars (used for crushing), and molars (used for grinding). Every time you take a bite of food, you use your teeth to break the food down, and make it easier to digest. In fact, digestion begins in the mouth, as your saliva starts the digestion process. But in addition to you eating with every bite, germs and bacteria eat live off the food that you eat as well. Your teeth will last you a lifetime with proper care and treatment.

You should never give a baby a bottle at bedtime that has anything other than water in it. Soda, juice, formula, milk, and other liquids can cause tooth decay in infants. Plain water is best if your baby needs a bedtime bottle.

Toothbrushes actually have a shelf life. You should replace your toothbrush frequently, about 4 times a year. An easy way to remember to change your toothbrush is to get a new one each season. A worn out toothbrush isn't as effective at removing plaque, bacteria, and food particles, and the older and more used a toothbrush is, the greater the chances of germs and bacteria on your toothbrush. Toothpicks, on the other hand, are single use, and have been made out of just about anything throughout history (including bones, precious metals, wood, plastic, bird feathers, and more).

What you eat has an affect on your oral health. Foods such as apples, celery, carrots, and other raw fruits and veggies are a good way to help keep your teeth strong and clean. Not only do the vitamins and minerals in the food help, these types of foods are considered detergent foods, and naturally help clean teeth while chewing. Try to avoid raisins and other dried fruits and veggies though, as these have a tendency to stick to teeth, and are hard to remove from between teeth, promoting tooth decay.

You can trade bacteria simply from kissing another person. Mothers transfer germs to babies all the time, from activity's such as testing the baby's food, to kissing them. Currently, there has been over 600 different bacteria that has been identified in the average human mouth. If you do want to kiss, but not pass the germs (or get germs), try a simple kiss on the forehead. Its comforting, and it doesn't spread germs. Great for when your sick, or your kissing someone that is not feeling well. Additionally, never share your toothbrush with anyone.

Don't forget about your pets dental hygiene as well. Dogs and cats need to have their teeth clean as well. To brush your pets teeth, try using beef bullion on your finger for dogs, or tuna water (the water from a can of tuna) for cats. Rub your finger in the food, and then along the animals gums. Don't worry, they will love it, and your dog or cat will have a cleaner mouth. Once your pet is used to this, try using a piece of gauze, or a soft bristle toothbrush, and brush their teeth. Humans are not the only ones that can suffer from tooth problems and gum disease. Not only can it cause your pet pain, but it could also affect the animals kidneys, heart, and even liver. This can cause pain when eating, causing the pet to be malnourished as well. If your pet suffers from bad breath, shows a lack of interest in eating, or is pawing at their mouth, you should take them to the vet to be checked out.

After the common cold, tooth decay is the second most preventable disease in the US. One of the most famous denture wearers in the United States was George Washington, the very first president. His dentures were made from various animal teeth, including hippo, cow, and walrus, and even used elephant tusk. If you have dentures or braces, you need to be extra vigilant when brushing your teeth. Dentures and braces are a common breeding ground for bacteria. While it can be difficult to brush with braces on, its not impossible. Try using an irrigation tool to get behind the braces, and make sure to brush the brackets well. If your gums bleed from brushing, it can indicate that there are serious dental or even medical problems, unless you don't brush or floss regularly. If you brush and floss regularly and your gums still bleed, you should see your local Niceville dentist to make sure that everything is alright.

In the event that a tooth gets knocked out, and its not a baby tooth, you can reinsert it back into the spot, and it can actually be put back. If your not able to put the tooth back in, place it into a cup of water or milk, and head to the dentist immediately. It is possible to put a tooth back in your mouth, but only if you do it quick enough.

Did you know that wisdom teeth (the 3rd molars to develop), have nothing to do with a persons intelligence Typically, most people's wisdom teeth come in around ages 17-21, and most people usually end up having to have at least one pulled or taken out, although its not uncommon for all 4 to have to be removed. This is because most peoples mouths are not big enough to handle the extra set of teeth, and they end up growing in improperly. Did you know that some people are born without wisdom teeth, and will never grow wisdom teeth?

If you happened to live in ancient times, and were rich, you were more likely to have bad dental hygiene because the rich could afford sweets. Those that were poor had better teeth because they couldn't afford the foods that would damage their teeth.

Snail Teeth
Snail Teeth

Did you know that the average human adult has 32 teeth, while a mosquito has 47? Opossums have even more with 50. Lemon sharks actually grow a new set of teeth every two weeks, and all sharks constantly are shedding and growing new teeth. Rabbits teeth never stop growing, and if they didn't gnaw on everything, their teeth could grow as big as the rabbit? Minnows even have teeth, and they are located in the fishes throat. Snails have an astonishing 25,000 teeth, and they are located on their tongue, all lined up in rows. Ants use their teeth to lift things, and can lift up to 50 times their weight with their teeth. Crocodiles don't need to brush their teeth, a small bird called a Plover actually eats the food stuck between the crocks teeth.

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