Apart from the 5 minutes you spend brushing them everyday, you probably don’t think about your teeth very often. However teeth are an extremely interesting part of the human body. Here are ten interesting facts about your teeth you have probably never heard.
1. Teeth are held tightly to the jaw bone by a cement-like substance. Every tooth has its own blood vessels and nerves and two thirds of the length of your tooth is in your gums.
2. Saliva helps prevent dental disease. In fact, in the span of a lifetime, a human being produces around 100,000 gallons of saliva. However, the as people get older the amount of saliva they produce decreases significantly, which increases the potential for dental disease.
3. If you ever get a tooth knocked out in an accident there is always a chance of being able to reinsert it. Rinse the tooth in warm water and get to the dentist as soon as possible. Many people who get there within 30 minutes are able to use the tooth again.
4. In addition to sugar, acidic foods or drinks can cause tooth decay. If you drink something with acid, such as orange juice, do not brush your teeth for at least a half an hour after you eat. Acids will soften the enamel on your teeth and if you brush right away you could remove a layer of that enamel.
5. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, even harder than your other bones. Despite this fact, enamel can chip or break easily. This is why dentists often advise against frequently eating ice and popcorn. Biting a popcorn kernel can easily chip a tooth.
6. In the 1800’s many people in England who had false teeth were forced to eat dinner alone in their rooms before coming out to dinner events. This was because they were afraid of the possibility of having their teeth fall out while eating.
7. Humans have generally four different types of teeth in their mouth. Their four different functions are to bite, tear, crush and grind.
8. Your teeth or gums should never bleed while you are brushing them. This is a sign that you have a gum infection. Sore gums are also not a good sign. Visit a dentist if you keep bleeding when you brush.
9. Certain foods will help clean your teeth such as apples, carrots, celery and other raw fruits and vegetables. On the other hand certain foods will cause tooth decay, including raisins and dried fruit. These foods stay on your teeth longer and can therefore have more damaging effects than even some candies.
10. The wisdom teeth are third molars that develop in a human generally between the ages of 17 to 21. Unlike what the name implies they have nothing to do with how smart you are. They were named wisdom teeth because they appear years after the other teeth, presumably when a person is much wiser.
Author Bio: Dr. Nathan Tanner is a dentist in Billings, MT., who has extensive experience through owning his own practice, Grand Avenue Dental Care, and from teaching cosmetic and pain-free dentistry at the OHSU dental school.