The longest teeth in the world are actually elephant tusks – sometimes weighing over 400 pounds.

Elephant tusks greatly outweigh humans’ teeth, but our teeth are fascinating objects. Did you know that the hardest tissue in our bodies is the outer layer of our teeth? Enamel is the hard shell that protects our teeth while chewing, crunching, and biting. Beneath enamel is dentin, a soft layer of calcified tissue. Dentin is the layer covering your nerves, and is the layer responsible for the color of your teeth. The innermost layer of a tooth is the pulp. Each tooth contains a network of nerves, arteries, and veins which dwell in the pulp.

illustration of the 3 layers of a tooth's anatomy

The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime. That is enough spit to fill 2 swimming pools!

Saliva is the agent that protects you from cavities and plaque buildup. This agent is a natural cleanser that freshens your mouth after meals and neutralizes acids.  Proper amounts of saliva are vital because a dry mouth can increase your risk of cavities and gum disease.

 

You should not keep your toothbrush near a toilet. The airborne particles from the flush can travel up to a distance of 6 feet.

You should pay attention to what you do with your toothbrush between uses! This tool rids your mouth of germs and bacteria; you don’t want your toothbrush adding more bacteria while you brush. To keep your mouth fresh, close the lid of your toilet, make sure your toothbrush is dry between uses, and replace your toothbrush after being sick!

 

Tongues are similar to our fingers – like fingerprints, the design of your tongue is 100% unique.

The design of our tongues are all unique, but all tongues utilize the same 8 muscles and identify the same 5 tastes: sweet, savory, salty, sour, and bitter. Most of the bacteria that is in your mouth is on your tongue. Your tongue is a carwash for your teeth, helping to wash away leftover foods and scrub plaque off your enamel. A clean tongue is the key to clean teeth, so you should clean your tongue on a daily basis.

 

The first toothbrush with bristles was made in China in 1498. Bristles from hogs, horses, and badgers were used.

Should we revert back to these kinds of toothbrushes? They don’t sound soft at all. Actually, soft bristles are the best choice for teeth. It may seem that harder bristles would do a better job of removing plaque, but tough bristles can damage your gum lines. Softer bristles are flexible enough to reach into crevices between teeth and scrub away bacteria and plaque. Soft bristles are also kinder on your gums and will prevent them from bleeding after brushing.

 

dental fact monday: toothbrushes in the bathroom

 

Were you surprised by any of these? We learn more about the mouth every year and develop newer practices and technology to go with it. We are especially glad that the toothbrush has evolved away from animal bristles! Despite all the changes, brushing twice a day, flossing every day, and having regular dental check-ups will always remain the same. Have you scheduled your next check-up? We make it easy to book online at A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe!