Pearly Whites: 5 Interesting Dental Facts You Might Not Have Known

Pearly Whites: 5 Interesting Dental Facts You Might Not Have Known

5 Interesting Dental Facts You Might Not Have Known

You use them to smile. You use them to eat. Here are 5 interesting dental facts that you might not have known.

Did you know that humans have been taking care of our teeth for over 7,000 years? Or that a healthy diet is important for healthy teeth? These are only some of the fascinating facts about dental health.

Interested in learning more? These five dental facts are sure to make you smile!

1. Dentistry Is Over 7,000 Years Old!

That’s right! All the way back in 5,000 B.C., Egyptians used crushed eggshells and animal hooves to clean their teeth. Before recorded history, it’s speculated that our ancestors used twigs for this purpose.

In China, the first toothbrush used boar bristles on a bone handle. A British inventor then brought this idea to England in the 1700s. It was around this time that dentistry became a more defined profession. But it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that the first dental college was established.

The toothbrush as we know it today with nylon bristles wasn’t invented until the 1930s. And while we think of the electric toothbrush as a “modern” invention, it was actually invented back in 1954!

2. Without Flossing, You’ll Miss Cleaning 40% of Tooth Surfaces

While brushing is important, flossing is essential, as highlighted by this dental fact. Without flossing, you’ll miss 40% of tooth enamel! That means a much bigger opportunity for plaque buildup and gum disease. 

To floss well, you’ll need a long piece — roughly an arms-length. Then, wind the floss up on your two middle fingers. Use your index finger and thumb to hold the floss and glide it between your teeth.

Also, make sure you to use a new section of floss as you progress. You don’t want to transfer the plaque from one tooth onto another!

Not great at using floss? Not a problem! 

There’s plenty of alternatives to using floss. You can use plastic picks, small brushes , or even little wooden sticks. Be sure to choose at least one method to remove food and bacteria as well as maintain healthy gums.

3. Soda Drinkers Have 62% More Tooth Problems Than Non-Drinkers

Did you know that nutrition is also important for dental health? And if you drink 3+ glasses of soda each day, you’ll have 62% more tooth problems than those who do not. Limit food and drinks that are high in sugar to maintain your dental health. 

Snacking is generally also bad for your teeth. That’s because it introduces more acid attacks on your teeth and opens them up to plaque buildup. That’s why afterward you should brush or rinse your mouth out to remove food particles.

There’s also a variety of food types that can help improve your oral health. Foods rich in calcium like dairy and soy promote stronger teeth and bones. Foods rich in phosphorous like fish, eggs, and nuts are also good for strong teeth. Finally, vitamin C foods like citrus, potatoes, and spinach promote gum health.

4. Gum Disease Can Affect More Than Tooth Health

It’s obvious that gum disease is going to affect your dental health. But did you know that it affects other aspects of your health, too? A growing body of scientific literature has found evidence that gum disease might cause other health problems.

Looking for examples?

  • Individuals with gum disease are more likely to have a heart attack. There’ also a strong relationship between heart and gum disease.
  • Individuals with diabetes are more likely to have diabetes, likely due to inflammation. And with diabetes not under control, you have a higher risk of gum disease.
  • Very recently, a new study found a potential link between dementia and gum disease.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is correlated with an increased incidence of gum disease.
  • Women with gum disease are more likely to have premature labor.

Wondering how to avoid gum disease? When you eat or drink sugary or starchy food and beverages, bacteria release acids to attack your enamel. Plaque keeps this acid close to your teeth, resulting in enamel breakdown.

With time, it can seep into your gum tissue, causing it to pull away from your teeth. When the gums pull away, the bacteria are to attack the bone beneath the teeth.

So you can avoid gum disease by brushing and flossing well, as you would to keep away any other oral disease!

5. 85% of Cases of Chronic Bad Breath Results From a Dental Condition

Chronic bad breath isn’t only due to eating smelly food. 85% of people with chronically bad breath have a dental condition to blame. Mouthwash can only do so much to mask the odor of bad breath.

So, what causes bad breath? Often times, it’s bacteria. There are hundreds of bacteria living in your mouth that can give rise to bad breath.

Your mouth fosters the perfect growing conditions for them. Especially since they feed on the food left over in your mouth. It’s the waste product of the bacteria eating your food that emits a foul smell.

Dry mouth can also result in bad breath because saliva helps wash out your mouth. If you don’t have enough saliva, your mouth might not be very clean. This results in that same bad-smelling bacterial waste.

Chronic bad breath is also a warning sign of gum disease. So if you have persistent bad breath no matter how much you brush, or if you have a constant bad taste in your mouth, it may be time to talk to your dentist.

Dental Facts Are Fascinating!

We hope you enjoyed these dental facts!

Do you think you have gum disease? Or just want a proper tooth cleaning?

We’ve got you covered! Visit Summerbrook Dental, where every patient is our top priority!