We talk a lot on our blog about useful topics like tooth sensitivity, proper brushing techniques, and dental anxiety. We feel it’s important to educate our patients on these issues so that they can take the best possible care of their teeth in between visits.
However, at Exceptional Smiles Family Dentistry, we don’t think talking about dental health always has to be serious. That’s why today, we’re going to share 10 fun and surprising facts that you probably didn’t know about your mouth.
#1. Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the human body. It’s made up of 96% minerals and is one of the only parts of the body that cannot regenerate or repair itself. That’s why it’s so important to practice good oral hygiene, limit sugary and acidic foods, and see a dentist regularly.
#2. Most people tend to chew more on the side of their dominant hand. That means if you’re right-handed you probably chew more on the right side of your mouth, and vice versa. Let us know in the comments if this holds true for you!
#3. The average person produces 2 to 4 pints of saliva per day. That adds up to about 25,000 quarts over a lifetime—that’s a lot of spit! It sounds gross, but it’s actually a good thing. Saliva keeps your mouth hydrated, preventing bacteria from reproducing and causing cavities and bad breath.
#4. Your jaw is the most powerful muscle in your body. The masseter muscle is the muscle that allows you to chew. On average, it can produce between 170 and 200 pounds of force. People who grind their teeth or chew gum on a regular basis tend to have the strongest jaw muscles.
#5. 100 years ago, half the population of North America was toothless. But we’re getting much better—today, only ten percent of people over 65 years of age are missing teeth.
#6. An athlete is 60 times less likely to damage teeth when wearing a mouth guard. Athletic trauma is one of the leading causes for tooth loss in people 35 and younger, so if you have kids who play sports, make sure a mouth guard is part of their uniform!
#7. Tooth decay is the second most common disease in the United States. The only more widespread affliction is the common cold. Not surprising, considering over 40% of adults have at least one tooth that needs some sort of treatment.
#8. Every person has a unique tongue print. You probably already knew your bite mark is unlike anyone else’s, but your tongue has a pattern which, like a fingerprint, is unique to you and only you. In fact, biometrics companies are working on a technology that would allow a person’s tongue print to be scanned as proof of identification.
#9. Children have fewer teeth than adults. Most kids have 20 “baby teeth,” which they start to lose around age 6. The average adult has 32 teeth, including 4 wisdom teeth that many people have to have removed.
#10. Regular dental cleanings can prevent heart attacks. It’s no secret that keeping your teeth clean is important if you don’t want cavities and gum disease, but bad oral hygiene can contribute to lots of other problems like heart disease and diabetes. Due for a cleaning? Visit our website or call us at (540) 434-5500 to schedule an appointment today!