Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Six Fascinating Dental Facts

Sitting in the dentist chair may be uncomfortable to contemplate, but our mouths and teeth don’t need to be boring. While your head to the dentist for your next dental exam and teeth cleaning, consider sharing these six fascinating facts.

1. Toothbrushes Were Made From Animal Parts
It might surprise you to know that the toothbrush first appeared in 4000 B.C. It was a twig that the Hindus of India frayed into bristle-like fibers and used to clean their teeth. The development of the toothbrush form that we know today was first made from bone or wood with hog bristles (horse hair and badger fur were also used). The plastic toothbrush with nylon bristles that we know today was first produced by Dupont in 1938.

2. What Hand Do You Chew With?
Handedness has more to do with chewing than you might think. Scientific studies show that handedness is directly related to how you chew your food. People who are left-handed chew their food on the left side of their mouths, while right-handed people chew on the right sides of their mouths.

3. Drink Soda? Get Ready for Cavities.
Soda is well-known for being bad for our health. High in sugar and chemicals, sodas of all kinds have detrimental effects on our health, especially our teeth. It has been found that people who drink 3 or more sugar-filled sodas a day have 62% more dental decay in the form of cavities and gum disease.

4. What Color Toothbrush Do You Choose?
Maybe bristles aren’t the most important element of toothbrushes to the average person. It’s a little known dental fact that more patients choose blue toothbrushes over red ones when given the option.
5. Keep Away from the Toilet
While not appetizing to contemplate, it’s important to take into account where your toothbrush sits relative to the toilet in your bathroom. Studies have shown that when we flush the toilet, particles are released into the air that can land on surrounding implement, like your toothbrush. Overall, dentists suggest that the space between the toilet and your (uncovered) toothbrush be at least six feet...and put the toilet lid down when you flush.

6. Your Mouth by the Numbers
The human is fascinating in all of its details and inner workings, and the mouth is no different. While we generally brush our teeth for 2 to 3 minutes twice a day, each person only averages about 40 days total brushing time over a lifetime. This is important, as it has been found that there are more bacteria partying in our mouths than there are people living on earth. Fortunately, we produce about 100,000 gallons of saliva over a lifetime to help clean it away along with regular brushing and flossing!
Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned 

Kelly Wilson writes about dental health for Smiles Dental, a group of Vancouver WA dentists.

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