1. Did you know that the average person produces a quart of saliva daily? That’s 10,000 gallons of spit over a lifetime. Saliva is essential to
good dental health because it washes food off the teeth, neutralizes acids in the mouth, fights germs and prevents bad breath.
2. On a daily basis, your mouth is home to over 100,000,000 micro-creatures who are swimming, feeding, reproducing, and depositing
waste in your mouth. Makes you want to brush your teeth, doesn’t it?
3. Our teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and our tooth enamel is the hardest part of our body—even harder than our bones! In order
to keep our teeth for a lifetime, we need to take care of them by brushing, flossing and seeing the dentist.
4. Did you know that 50% of people say that a smile is the first thing they notice about someone? Brush twice a day and floss daily so the
smile people are noticing is shiny and white!
5. We think a shiny, white smile is attractive, but did you know in medieval Japan white teeth were considered ugly? Women used roots
and inks to stain their teeth black, which they felt was much more attractive.
6. We need to keep our teeth healthy because we use our teeth to bite and chew, but did you know dolphins only use their teeth to grasp?
Dolphins can’t chew, because dolphins’ jaws have no muscles.
7. Dental floss was first manufactured in 1882. If you floss once a day, you will use about 5 miles of floss over your lifetime! Dental floss isn’t just for teeth—a prison inmate in West Virginia braided floss into a rope, scaled the prison wall and escaped.
8. If you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, you will brush your teeth for about 24 hours each year, or 76 days over the course of your life! All this brushing will use about 20 gallons of toothpaste.
9. When we brush or teeth, we should also remember to brush our tongue. Did you know that just like our fingerprints, everyone’s tongue print is different? Our tongue is the only muscle in our body that isn’t attached to something at both ends.
10. In 1816, Sir Isaac Newton’s tooth was sold in London for today’s equivalent of $35,700. Don’t expect that much money from the Tooth Fairy—in America, she brings an average of $3 per tooth.
11. Dentists have been around a long time—archeologists have evidence of the first dental fillings in teeth from people who lived between 7,500 and 9,000 years ago.
12. In China, they celebrate national “Love Your Teeth Day” each year on the 20th of September. To promote dental health, a Chinese
dentist used 28,000 teeth to build a giant tooth-shaped tower.
13. If you had a toothache in Germany, in the Middle Ages, you would have been told to kiss a donkey to cure your toothache!
14. In 1498, in China, the bristle toothbrush was invented. The bristles were made of the stiff hairs from the back of a pig’s neck. Pig’s
hair was used in toothbrushes until 1938, when nylon bristles were introduced. Your toothbrush has about 2,500 nylon bristles grouped in forty tufts.
15. Most Americans did not brush their teeth every day until after World War II. In WWII, the military required that soldiers brush their teeth twice a day to keep their teeth healthy. The soldiers brought that habit home after the war.
16. The world’s oldest recipe for toothpaste is from Egypt in 400 AD. The formula included mint, salt, grains of pepper and dried iris
flower. A modern day dentist made the toothpaste and said, “I found that it was not unpleasant, afterwards my mouth felt fresh and clean.”
17. Toothpaste was used as long ago as 500 BC in China and India. Ancient toothpastes included ingredients such as soot, honey, crushed egg shells, and ground ox’s hooves. In 1873, Colgate released the first commercially prepared toothpaste, which had the minty taste we know today.
For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.