Ten Fun Facts About Teeth

Conversations about teeth aren’t usually considered to be the most ‘fun’ – after all, a lot of tooth talk involves sharing stories of having wisdom teeth removed or an unplanned root canal.  But teeth are important, even baby teeth, and deserve to bask in the lime-light.

1. Did you know that Napoleon and Julius Caesar were both born with teeth?  Approximately one in every two thousand babies are born with teeth – usually on the bottom.  Trips to the dentist start early for babies with ‘natal’ teeth as problems may exist with weak roots and the risk of swallowing teeth becomes an issue.

2. Just as it’s rare for some babies to be born with teeth – it’s just as rare for some people to not loose their baby teeth.  Some adults still have baby teeth present due to the lack of an adult tooth (teeth) existing.  The non-existence of the adult tooth prevents the baby tooth from naturally exfoliating as the signal to fall out is not initiated.

3. Some people aren’t happy with the ‘normal’ amount of teeth – 32 in adult dentition and 20 in primary dentition – but have extra teeth or ‘supernumerary’.  For many people with extra teeth they don’t know they exist until they go to their Calgary Dentist for an exam and x-rays.  The x-ray reveals the extra teeth present below the gumline.

4. It’s cool to wear orthodontic braces.  Yep, gone are the days of embarrassing ‘train tracks’ and photos of ‘metal mouth’ – today’s braces are super cool and super fast when it comes to moving teeth to healthy positions.  Over 80% of teenagers have some form of orthodontic treatment and adult orthodontics is one of the fastest growing specialities in dentistry.

5. But as much as North America culture loves to see straight teeth – not all cultures share the same opinion and in fact embrace a smile that has some crooked teeth showing.  Japanese feel that crooked teeth are a prize possession and even pay money to have straight teeth made imperfect.

6. Humans are truly evolving – as having wisdom teeth are no longer a guarantee and less and less young adult patients present with these teeth that were once thought to signify an age of becoming wise.

7. Did you know that though raisins are considered a dried fruit, this sticky sugary treats are actually more harmful to your teeth than gummy bears.  Now, no dentist in Calgary is encouraging you to binge on gummy bears - Dentists in Calgary do want you to be able to enjoy treats and make smart choices – and staying away from raisins will help keep your teeth clean of sticky, high sugar content, residue.

8. The Tooth Fairy is believed to have left traces of glitter across the bedroom floors of a child who lost their ’6th tooth’.  In olden days, burying baby teeth was a common practice – but not the 6th tooth to fall out – that was placed under the child’s pillow for the tooth fairy and in exchange a nominal amount of money was left.

9.  Not all cultures turn to a toothbrush to clean teeth.  Some Muslim and African cultures use a stick, called a miswak, to clean food debris from tooth surfaces.  Having an electric toothbrush that not only cleans but whitens teeth seems very luxurious.

10. Like it or not – teeth have the ability to reveal the health of the entire body – and can often provide signs and symptoms that help doctors and dentists diagnose serious diseases.  Taking care of our pearly whites means you’re taking care of your body’s and entire health.

Dr. Andy Hoe is a Dentist in South Calgary who welcomes new patients to his practice.  Looking for a dentist in Calgary – call Bite Dental today 403.201.2483


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