We’re taking a walk on the silly side. Here are a few fun facts and interesting tidbits about dentistry.
Fun dental facts about teeth
If you’re taking a road trip this summer, these fun dental facts might keep you entertained.
- The average American spends 38.5 total days brushing their teeth during their lifetime.
- The average person only brushes for 45 to 70 seconds a day, the recommended amount of time is 2-3 minutes.
- 25% of adults DON’T brush their teeth twice a day—increasing their risk of developing tooth decay by 33%.
- 78% of Americans have had at least 1 cavity by the age of 17.
- Nearly 25% of American adults have no teeth.
- 33% of people are born without wisdom teeth.
- On average, 3 million teeth are lost at sporting events annually.
- The tooth is the only part of the human body that can’t heal itself.
- Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body.
- Like fingerprints—and snowflakes—everyone’s tongue print is unique.
- The lifespan of a taste bud is 10 days.
- The average human being produces 100,000 gallons of saliva during their lifetime—enough to fill 2 swimming pools.
- 90% of a bad breath smell originates in the mouth.
- There are more bacteria in the human mouth than there are people on the Earth.
- Brushing along misses 40% of your tooth surfaces—that’s why you need to floss.
- 75% of school kids worldwide have cavities.
- Toothpicks are the object most often choked on by Americans.
- The average toothbrush contains about 2500 bristles grouped into about 40 tufts per toothbrush. The tufts are folded over a metal staple and forced into pre-cored holes in the head and fused into the head with heat. The handle is made of at least two materials, usually plastic and rubber.
- Americans buy more than 14 million gallons of toothpaste and more than 3 million miles of dental floss every year.
- More people use blue toothbrushes than red ones.
- Americans spend $100 billion a year on hair care products, and only $2 billion a year on dental care products.
- Halloween is the biggest candy-selling holiday, followed by Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day.
- Known today as cotton candy, the machine that made “fairy floss” was co-invented by a dentist.
- If you’re right handed, you will chew your food on your right side. If you’re left handed, you will tend to chew your food on your left side.
- Kids in North America spend close to half a million dollars on gum every year.
- Coconuts are a natural anti-bacterial. They reduce the risk of developing gum disease and cavities.
- People who drink 3 or more glasses of soda daily have 62% more tooth decay, fillings and tooth loss than others.
- Every can of soda has 10-12 teaspoons of sugar—the recommended daily intake is 4 teaspoons.
We’re all smiles
- The average woman smiles 62 times a day—the average man, only 8.
- 48% of young adults have untagged themselves from a photo on Facebook because of their smile.
- 1 in 5 Americans think their imperfect smile is holding them back from finding love.
- 53% of people said that they first noticed someone’s smile when meeting someone new.
- 87% of people would forego something for a year in order to have a nice smile for the rest of their life. Of those, 39% said it’d be dessert and whopping 37% would give up vacations.
- Chocolate is proven to make us smile more than then anything else we eat.
- You can recognize a smile from up to 300 feet away.
- There are 19 different types of smiles.
- People spend an average of 20,160 minutes kissing throughout their lifetime.
- Three in five Americans would rather have a nice smile than clear skin.
- When meeting someone new, 47% of people first notice their smile. Only 31% notice their eyes.
- Americans perceive people with straight teeth 58% more likely to be successful, as well as 58% more likely to be wealthy.
- Nearly three out of four Americans would be more likely to trust someone with a nice smile than someone with a good job, outfit, or car.
- When searching for a possible mate on a dating site, people with straight teeth are 57% more likely than people with crooked teeth to get a date based on their picture alone.
- It takes 43 muscles to frown, and only 17 to smile.
Healthy smiles for a healthy life
- A sore jaw, when combined with chest pain, can signal a heart attack—especially in women.
- Replacing your toothbrush after illnesses prevents re-infection.
- Almost 65 million American adults have some form of periodontal disease—of this, 38.4% are women, 56.4% are men.
- Tooth decay is the second most common disease, second only to the common cold.
- 95% of American adults with diabetes also have periodontal disease.
- People with periodontal disease are twice as likely to develop heart disease.
- Expectant mothers with poor oral hygiene are 7 times more likely to deliver prematurely and have babies with low birth weights.
- People who smoke are 2-7 times more likely to develop periodontal disease than non-smokers.
Animal dental facts
- Elephants grind away their molars and grow new ones 6 times in their lifetime.
- An elephant’s molar is about 7 inches square and weighs more than 6 pounds.
- Blue whales are the largest mammals on earth—with tiny appetites. They only eat plankton (tiny shrimp) because they have no teeth.
- Giraffes have black tongues and only bottom teeth.
- Crocodile birds are quite the daredevils. They fly straight into the open mouths of crocodiles to clean the crocodile’s teeth.
- Giant armadillos have 100 teeth—the most of any mammal on land. In the sea? Spinner dolphin’s long, thin jaws have 252.
- Dolphins don’t have jaw muscles—they use their teeth to grab only, not to chew.
- A snail’s mouth is the size of a pinhead and has more than 25,000 teeth. Mosquitoes? 47 teeth.
- Just like some lizards can grow new tails when they fall off, when a dinosaur lost or broke a tooth he grew a new one.
- A fossilized Tyrannosaurus tooth weighs up to 1 pound.
The history of teeth
- We’ve been filling cavities since the earliest of times using a variety of different materials, including gum, stone chips, and even turpentine resin.
- Commercial floss was first manufactured in 1882.
- Contrary to popular belief, George Washington’s famous dentures weren’t wood. His dentures were crafted from gold, ivory, lead, and a mixture of human, donkey, and hippopotamus teeth.
- The most valuable tooth in history belonged to Sir Isaac Newton. In 1816, one of his teeth was sold in London for $3,633—today that would be $35,700. Might have been the ring it was set in…
- Toothache in the middle ages? Kiss a donkey.
- The first toothbrush was made in China in 1498—the bristles were made from hogs, horses, and badgers.
- In 200 A.D., the Romans used a mixture of bones, eggshells, oyster shells, and honey to clean their teeth.
- In the 1800s, blacksmiths and barbers also served as dentists.
- The earliest known dentist was Hesi-ren, an egyptian “doctor of the tooth” who lived around 3000 B.C.
- The saying “cat got your tongue” originated 2500 years ago in ancient Assyria where conquered soldiers and criminals had their tongues cut out and fed to the king’s cats.
- In the 1800s, people who had false teeth in England ate in their bedrooms before gatherings and events at the dinner table. This unique Victorian tradition protected them against the embarrassment of having their teeth ‘fall off’ while dining.
- In 1905, dental assistant Irene Newman was trained to clean teeth. She became the first dental hygienist.
- We’d suggest registering. Dentures were common wedding gifts in the British Isles. At that time, people were expected to lose all their teeth and had their teeth extracted at an early age.
- In colonial days, debtors were shipped from Europe to America to work as servants. Instead of signing a contract, they sealed their agreement by leaving their dental imprint in wax.