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Chew on this: Obscure dental facts

Updated on June 8, 2015

Are you a person with a perfect smile and brilliant white teeth? Or, are you like half the population who feels fear when the dentist is mentioned? Whoever you are, you can’t deny that your pearly whites play an important role in your day to day lives.

The facts are that teeth keep us alive. We use them to eat, and we use them to form words for communication. We often take our teeth for granted, but a recent study from the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry states that 92% of Americans believe that an attractive smile is an important social asset.

Today, we can celebrate our teeth with a plethora of fun, obscure dental facts. Enjoy! And, remember to floss.

According to Guinness World Records, the most valuable tooth belonged to Sir Isaac Newton. In 1816 one of his teeth was sold for a whopping $3,633. If sold today it would fetch about $36 to $47 thousand!

The first toothbrush with bristles was manufactured in China in 1498. Bristles from hogs, horses and badgers were used. It was found to be too harsh and eventually fixed. The first commercial toothbrushes made of nylon that we use today were made in 1938. However, they have records of ancient Egyptians using a form of toothpaste. Colgate introduces aromatic toothpaste in a jar in 1873, before that toothpaste was a collection of things, but good was not one of those things. It wasn’t put into tubes we use today until 1896.

Sodium fluoride (the active ingredient in toothpaste) is also the active ingredient in insecticide. It is not rare for people to get fluoride toxicity, especially children who don’t understand the dangers of swallowing the toothpaste. It takes consumption of two to three tubes of toothpaste to become seriously ill.

Eating cheese is good for your teeth. The calcium and phosphorus found in cheese reduces the PH level in plaque and re-mineralizes the enamel. So, if you can stomach it, try to eat cheese after eating enamel deteriorating foods like lemons and citrusy fruits.

It is common knowledge that every set of teeth is different for every person; much like fingerprints. However, the tongue print is just as unique and can be used to identify a person if needed.

Research has shown that people with gum disease are at higher risk of heart disease, stroke, uncontrolled diabetes, and repertory disease. The studies also show that the bacteria created by the disease can enter the blood stream and cause new infections. It goes on to say that 90% of systemic diseases start as oral manifestations.

Most tooth loss in people under 35 is caused by accidents, e.g. athletic trauma, fights, or the occasional slip on a banana peel. Most tooth loss in people over 35 is caused by gum disease.

Cosmetic dental procedures are the most preformed elective surgery. This may be because polls say that more than 80% of people are not happy with their smile.

Studies show that adults with a post high school degree had an average of three more teeth than those without a high school diploma.

There is a person, Michael Fawcett, whose only job is to squeeze Prince Charles’ toothpaste onto his royal toothbrush. Fawcett, is according to numerous news sources, the only person who Charles trusts with this tremendous responsibility.

Dental work has a history that goes back 9,000 years ago. Teeth found in adults from that time period had holes drilled with sharpened flint points. Specialists believe that the holes were filled with some type of material but are unable to identify it as so much time has passed.


Dentures help solve a crime!

In Argentina a burglar was caught after he lost his false teeth during a break in. The victim, Juan Navarro, was robbed by three men, and during the robbery one of the men lost his dentures. The newspaper “Noticias Populares” reports that Navarro handed the dentures over to police. He then noticed that his own nephew was missing his teeth. Navarro reported his suspicions, tests were done, and the match was maid. A police spokesman reported to the popular newspaper “What a funny thing to happen. Caught by a denture! Unbelievable!”

The same scenario of lost teeth helped solve a crime in North Poland. Wojtek Lekowsky, 54, broke into a car and dropped his teeth. The police scanned records and were able to find him in a short time to charge him with the crime.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Mighty useful. Make no mistake, I apatecipre it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The dentists and his staff at mexico Dentist Guide's Dental Paradise were amazing,

      very friendly,warm, and caring! My dentistry in Canada was impeccable and I now

      consider them “friends for life.”

    • novascotiamiss profile image


      8 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      By the way, most mouth washes & toothpastes contain unhealthy or cancer causing chemicals, so I don't gargle with mouth wash anymore. Apparently salt water does the same trick or fresh mint out of the garden. I've switched to Tom of Maine Toothpaste, which costs quite a bit more but it doesn't contain all these nasty chemicals. I've been suffering from an irritated and rough throat for years and since I've made the switch it's gone. If you are interested in finding out what your products contain, check out the website. It's a real eye opener.

    • Karmallama profile imageAUTHOR

      Dreen Lucky 

      8 years ago from St. Paul, minnesota

      Thank you for your kudos! I do agree with you completely, and ounce of preventative is worth a pound of cure. And, I agree with your ideas on white, white teeth. The chemicals they put in that product is so caustic that is can do some damage to the mouth. I appreciate the knowledgeable post!

    • novascotiamiss profile image


      8 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      This is definitely an interestingly different article on an otherwise boring topic. I totally agree with you, our health depends on our teeth and therefore we need to look after them well. I see the dentist twice a year for check-ups and cleaning. While this may sound expensive to most, it's actually not. Check-ups are very cheap compared to expensive crowns or root canals and my preventative measures have definitely paid off during the years. I'm not a believer of snow-white teeth though and I don't have them bleached, nor do I use any whitening products. I feel that especially in older persons whitened teeth look sometimes too artificial and don't match the persons looks.


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