1. Even the most ancient populations understood the importance of oral hygiene.
Ancient oral hygiene methods and practices seem rudimentary compared to those we use today. That said, ancient populations had definitely made the connection between oral hygiene and strong, healthy teeth.
Ancient people tried many different techniques to keep their teeth clean. Some would go as far as to attempt to clean their teeth by chewing wooden sticks or tree bark with frayed ends. Ancient Egyptians brushed their teeth using a powder made from pulverized eggshells and ox hooves mixed with water.
2. The modern toothbrush was not developed until the 1700s.
Englishman William Addis attached boar bristles to a bone handle to create the first mass-produced toothbrush. Brushes with nylon bristles and ergonomic handles were developed in the 1930s. While they were highly innovative at the time, these products seem primitive compared to modern toothbrushes.
3. Not even the Tooth Fairy is immune to inflation.
The Tooth Fairy commands a lot more silver today than she did in 1900 when she left an average of 12 cents per tooth. For comparison, she left an average of one dollar in 1998 and by 2013, the going rate for a tooth reached an average of $3.50. In 2018, it was not uncommon for children to find a $5 bill under their pillows. How much do you get?
4. North Americans use around 3 million miles of dental floss every year.
However, we're still not flossing enough! Only 30% of North Americans claim they floss once per day.
5. The average human produces 25,000 quarts of spit in a lifetime.
This is enough drool to fill two swimming pools! Gross.
6. Teeth can tell us a lot about the past.
Teeth are the hardest part of any mammal, which means they are the part most often fossilized. The size, number, shape, and organization of the teeth are different in every species of mammal, making them very useful in the classification of organisms (taxonomy). Without teeth, the fossil record would be quite a lot harder to for us to understand.
7. The United States has the most cavities per person out of all the countries in the world.
On the other hand, in some countries (like China), people eat such small amounts of sugar that entire cities are completely cavity-free.
8. 'Long in the tooth' is a phrase meaning 'old'.
This expression originated with horses. As horses age, their gums recede, making it seem like their teeth are growing. The longer the teeth look, the older the horse.
9. Snails have teeth. Lots of them.
Snails and slugs eat with a jaw and a flexible band of thousands of microscopic teeth called a radula. The radula scrapes up, or rasps, food particles and the jaw cuts off larger pieces of food, like a leaf, to be rasped by the radula.
10. According to Louisiana law, if you bite someone with your natural teeth, it's assault, but if you bite them with dentures, it's aggravated assault.
This is because while simple assault is committed with your person, and aggravated assault is committed with a dangerous weapon (which dentures are, if you're using them for biting people).