Other than when brushing and flossing, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about your teeth, unless you have a toothache. However, your teeth are pretty amazing. They do much more than just grind up food or influence the appearance of your smile. Here are 6 interesting facts you might not know about your pearly whites.
1. Teeth are as unique as fingerprints.
Your teeth are unique to you, just like your fingerprints. Often, dental records are used to identify human remains because no two smiles are identical.
2. Your enamel is the hardest substance in your body.
Your teeth are protected by the hardest substance in your body. Enamel is stronger than your bones and even some metals.
3. Enamel doesn’t grow back.
Although enamel is incredibly strong, it isn’t indestructible. Unfortunately, your enamel can’t regenerate, which means it won’t grow back. Once you’ve lost it, it is gone for good, which is why it’s important to protect your teeth from cavities. While tooth decay is common, it’s almost 100% preventable with good oral hygiene, regular dental care, and a healthy diet.
4. There are over 200 types of bacteria in your mouth.
The thought might make you cringe, but your mouth is home to 200-300 different species of bacteria. Not all oral bacteria are bad. Some are necessary to keep your smile healthy. A balance between good and bad species is essential for keeping cavities, gum disease, and odors at bay.
5. Cavities aren’t the only cause of tooth loss.
Despite the latest advancements in dentistry, 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Cavities aren’t the only culprit of tooth loss. Gum disease is also a leading cause. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 50% of adults have the infection, despite being preventable. Gum disease is also linked to an increased risk of many health issues, like cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Flossing is a simple way to keep your mouth and body healthy.
6. You produce 10,000 gallons of spit.
Your saliva is also vital for your oral health. It kick starts the digestive process and keeps your mouth moist. If your mouth is too dry, it is the perfect environment for bad bacteria growth. You will produce about 10,000 gallons of saliva during your lifetime to help cleanse your mouth in between brushing and flossing. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and your mouth moist.
You wouldn’t be able to speak clearly, eat certain foods, or smile confidently if not for your teeth. Give your smile the attention it deserves to ensure your teeth last for a lifetime.
About Dr. Les Latner
Dr. Latner earned his dental degree from the Washington University School of Dental Medicine and has continued his education in many specialties, like pediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and general dentistry. If you need a cleaning and checkup, request an appointment through our website or call (310) 907-7987.