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10 Incredible Things About Human Teeth

By Alicia Green on November 05, 2018

They are with you for all of your life, make chewing possible, and make your smile bearable, but how often do we consider what amazing tools are a part of your mouth? Here are 10 incredible things you might not know about these small parts of the human body.

Every mouth is unique

Like fingerprints, your teeth are uniquely yours. According to Healthline, even identical twins don’t have identical teeth, which means that your smile is a true mark of your individuality and is not shared even with those most biologically close to you.

Teeth start to form before birth

Even though babies are born with no visible teeth, teeth start to form around the 11th week of fetal development. Colgate explains the tooth buds of your 20 primary teeth, as well as the 32 permanent teeth you will one day develop, are already present in your mouth at birth. 

Enamel is the hardest substance in your body

A tooth's enamel is the hardest substance of your entire body. Unfortunately, damaged enamel cannot regrow or heal itself, explains the Mayo Clinic. However, you can strengthen and protect your enamel with toothpaste, mouthwash, and foods with plenty of calcium.

Teeth can tell stories

Did you know that teeth are one of the best storytellers about our lives? Mouth Healthy, of the American Dental Association, explains that our teeth can show how old we are, what our diet is like, and where on the planet we lived. Teeth can also give indicators to dental professionals about our overall health, including periods of stress or illness.

Only two-thirds of your teeth are visible

Like an iceberg, only a portion of your teeth are visible, the rest is hidden inside your gum. Healthline explains that just because you can't see the rest of yor tooth, it doesn't mean it shouldn't not be cared for. Take time to floss, rinse with mouthwash, and eat foods that boost healthy saliva output to take care of that which you can't see.

Toothbrushes were invented a long time ago

The concept of brushing teeth has been around a long time. The Pennsylvania Dental Association gives a history of the toothbrush and believe it or not, the first toothbrush was used around 3500 BC. "Babylonians used chewing sticks to clean their teeth. They were careful to select twigs from aromatic trees that they believed would clean and freshen their mouth. They chewed on one end of the stick until it became soft like a brush, and kept the other end pointed to pick out food that got stuck between their teeth." Thankfully, teeth brushing has come along way in the 5,500 years since aromatic twigs were the latest dental hygiene product to hit the market.

Teeth are not bones

One common misconception about teeth is that they are bones. Colgate explains that this is not true, despite the fact that both are hard, white, and contain calcium. Unfortunately, for candy and soda lovers alike, unlike bones, teeth are not able to be wrapped in a cast to reform — they only give one shot at sustaining a lifetime of chewing and digesting.

Everyone has 32 of them

Web MD states that every adult has 32 teeth unless they are lost through decay, injury or need to be removed. From your front teeth to the back of your mouth, you have eight incisors, four canine teeth, eight premolars, and 12 molars. The molars include wisdom teeth, which frequently require removal to resolve or prevent dental problems.

Saliva is good for your teeth

Did you know you produce over a swimming pool's amount of saliva in a lifetime? Turns out it's great for your teeth, too. Healthline explains that your body produces about a quart of saliva every day, which comes out to about 10,000 gallons over a lifetime. "Saliva plays many important roles in your overall health. For example, it makes food easier to swallow and contains enzymes to jumpstart digestion. When it comes to your teeth, saliva washes away lingering food particles, and contains calcium and phosphate, which can neutralize the acids in plaque that cause damage and decay." Have a dry mouth? Sip on water or chew sugar-free gum to stimulate more saliva activity and get those pearly whites shining.

Teeth need more care

Because so many foods and drinks cause bacteria to turn against teeth's enamel, it is important to remember to brush every day. Mouth Healthy recommends brushing at least twice a day, for at least two minutes each time. Brushing is also important for children. Beginning as soon as a baby's teeth appear, parents should start the habit of teeth cleaning. If your teeth succumb to tooth decay, don't worry. The professionals at Stubbs Dental specialize in dental implants, oral surgery, and other solutions to meet your oral hygiene needs.

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