Ever see two people from the same profession get to talking? Even if they’ve never met, there’s a shared vocabulary and knowledge that sparks and sustains the conversation. When dentists get together, we talk about teeth. But why should we have all the fun? We’ve put together some of our favorite tooth trivia and mouth minutiae for your reading pleasure!
Many of us spend a lot of time in the gym pumping iron, but do you know what the hardest part of your body is? If you guessed teeth, you’re close. It’s the enamel that coats and protects your teeth. It’s harder than copper, but not quite as hard as stainless steel.
Born to Brush
When babies are born, one question folks always want to know is “Were they born with any hair?” Some babies are little cue balls, while others sport luscious locks from day one. But did you know that some babies are actually born with teeth? These are known as “natal teeth.” If teeth erupt through the gum line in the first month, we call them “neonatal teeth.”
Surfing on Saliva
Fill a bathtub. Empty it. Then fill it again. And again. And on and on. Once you’ve filled the tub 80 times, you’ve put in about as much water as you’ll make saliva in your lifetime—more than 5,000 gallons in all! Don’t be shocked—you need all that saliva to help break down food and protect those choppers.
An Identifiable Smile
We’ve all seen enough crime shows to know the importance of fingerprints. Find the fingerprint, find the criminal! After all, fingerprints are like snowflakes—no two are alike. But did you know that your teeth are just as unique as your fingerprints?
Over the years, dental fillings have continued to advance, with modern composite fillings granting patients natural-looking, resilient smiles. It’s no wonder modern fillings are so impressive; we’ve had plenty of time to improve our technique—several thousand years in fact! A couple of years ago, scientists uncovered 13,000-year-old dental fillings.
Being a dentist is a tiring job. After all, we’ve got 20 baby teeth and up to 32 adult teeth to care for in every patient! But it sure beats being a snail’s dentist. In that tiny, tiny mouth, a garden snail has more than 14,000 teeth! Some species of snail have more than 20,000 teeth.
If someone asked you “How many types of human teeth are there?”, what would you answer? One? Maybe two—the pointy ones and the flat ones? In actuality, we have four different types of teeth—canines, incisors, premolars, and molars. These specialized teeth help us bite, tear, and grind our food.
When baby teeth start to fall out to make room for adult teeth, it can seem like the entire process happens at random. But if you want to know what order your child will lose their teeth in, just take note of what order the teeth came in. That’s right—for the most part, baby teeth fall out in the same order they came in.
Here’s one last fun fact to leave you with: The staff at Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center here in Chicago, IL speaks Spanish and Polish. Call our dental office at 773-570-1630 to make an appointment in English, Spanish, or Polish!