Who said that dentistry is only scary and couldn’t be fascinating or funny?
We might sometimes forget how important it is to care for our oral health or be afraid of our dentist’s chair, but we deserve a moment of entertainment or learn something new.
Modern practices and our daily routines to preserve a healthy smile hide many interesting dental facts behind them.
So, we opened our books and researched online to discover some exciting facts to share with you. Now, you can challenge yourself and see how many of them you actually knew.
1. It’s all the tooth worm’s fault!
Fact: “A Sumerian text at 5000 BC describes ‘tooth worms’ as the cause of dental decay.”
Let’s say that you were struggling with tooth decay (cavities) and lived around that period. The only explanation for your suffering would be the “tooth worm”.
Across many different cultures and ages, people would blame the tooth worm for many dental issues. There were beliefs about its appearance; for example, it was supposed to look like an eel or a maggot. Also, there were interesting ways to treat it, like oaths, spells, and magical potions.
Of course, the evolution of dentistry took away this belief by identifying that the actual cause of tooth decay is the bacteria inside your mouth.
2. I’ll have a haircut and a tooth extraction, please!
Fact: “Until the mid-eighteenth century, the main providers of dental services were barber-surgeons”.
Before dentists took care of our teeth, practitioners from different occupations were responsible for our oral health (like blacksmiths and barbers).
For tooth extraction, you would have to find a barber-surgeon with all the appropriate tools to relieve your pain.
Interestingly, in 1210 when the Guild of Barbers was established in France, they were split. So, lay barbers or barber-surgeons would take care of routine tasks (like extracting teeth and bleeding), and surgeons would be responsible for more complex problems.
3. Can you imagine cleaning your teeth with a different kind of toothpaste?
Fact: “The development of the toothpaste as we’re used to began in the 1800s.”
Egyptians, Ancient Greeks, and Romans used different ingredients to create some formulas as toothpaste. Including materials like ashes, eggshells, pumice, bones, oyster shells, charcoal, and more.
Toothpaste remained relatively the same until the 1800s. Like the ancient formulas, the new ones were in powdered form but mainly included soap, chalk, and occasionally charcoal.
Around the middle of the 19th century began the mass production of toothpaste in jars. Before that, dentists had to create a specific mixture for each patient.
Around the 1950s, the soap was replaced with other ingredients like the ones found in today’s toothpaste (like fluoride and more).
Now, we can clean adequately and even treat some dental issues by simply brushing our teeth with the appropriate toothpaste.
4. Our teeth are indeed the strongest!
Fact: “The tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body.”
The enamel is the thin outer layer of our teeth. It covers and protects the dentin and the pulp, which are our teeth’s more fragile inner layers.
Due to each its structure, it’s highly damage-resistant and actually harder than our bones.
So when we highlight how important it is to take care of our teeth, we should never forget to think about protecting our strong enamel as well.
5. Please, use your tongue print!
Fact: “Our tongue print is unique; no two tongue prints are similar”.
Maybe you knew that tracing bite marks could even help an instigation and be specified for one individual, but did you know that our tongue is unique too?
As a matter of fact, tong prints can be used in biometric authentication, just like our fingerprints. They could also be a valuable tool in forensic dentistry.
6. Are you sure that you clean your teeth as recommended?
Fact: “25% of adults do not brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste”.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA) recommendations, you should brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a toothbrush that has soft bristles and a toothpaste with fluoride.
So, 1 in 4 adults does not follow proper oral hygiene practices. Neglecting your teeth care can lead to many dental issues and complications such as tooth decay, gum disease, and many more if left untreated.
Our professionals here at the Swedish Dental clinic recommend scheduling your dental checkups at least twice a year. This way, you’ll get the proper care if needed in the early stages and learn how to care for your teeth properly.
If you’re struggling with any dental issues or want your teeth checked, you can book your consultation in our clinic, and why not during our appointment to discuss more fun facts together!