It may seem like the most interesting thing about teeth is waiting for the tooth fairy to arrive, but there are actually quite a few curious facts about them. If you type the word “tooth” in the Guinness World Records website, nearly 300 tooth-related entries appear! From the longest teeth to most teeth in a mouth (37), and the largest collection of human teeth to the person who could hang from their teeth for over 7 minutes, teeth are the source of all kinds of strange and fascinating information. Read on for some of the best facts we found.
First, go grab a piece of food and chew it. What side of your mouth did you chew with? Chances are, if you are left-handed you chewed with the left side and if you are right-handed you chewed with the right side. (Bonus activity – if there are elementary aged kids in the house, have them take a poll of friends and family to find out how often this fun fact is true. They could create a graph, chart, or find percentages with the results.)
Every person has completely unique fingerprints that can be used for identification, but did you know that is also true for teeth and your tongue? Even identical twins don’t have the same set of teeth or identical tongue prints or fingerprints. Scientists can also use teeth to tell how old a person was, where they lived on Earth, if they ever had a serious illness, and what they ate and drank.
Enamel, the shiny, solid surface of the tooth, is the hardest part of your body. You can also create around 200 pounds of pressure when you bite down. This combination allows people to pull incredibly heavy things, like an entire ship! The record was set by Oleg Skavyesh (who is a pediatrician!) when he pulled a 1,353,636.68 pound ship with his teeth. In case you didn’t catch that, he pulled a ship that weighs over 1 million pounds – with his teeth!
Most babies display their first tooth when they are between 5-8 months old. However, some are born with one or two teeth. The record-holder is Sean Keaney, who was born with 12 teeth. They were extracted to prevent feeding problems, but his second full set of teeth arrived when he was 18 months old. Another baby was born with 8 teeth and 4 of the teeth were molars!
The longest milk tooth (baby tooth) came from the mouth of ten-year-old, Curtis Buddie. His tooth was .94 in long!
Children’s teeth can develop a significant cavity in less than a year because the enamel on baby teeth is thinner than on permanent teeth. Making everything worse, the harmful bacteria can quickly spread to other teeth, causing them to develop decay. This is why it is recommended that most children receive a dental checkup every six months. Luckily, there are many things you can do to help your child avoid cavities.
You have around 700 species of microbes living in your mouth. These species form colonies, and you could have 20 billion individual microbes in your mouth. That is more than double the entire human population on earth! Luckily, many of these are helpful, but some cause illness, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Saliva keeps your mouth moist, helps wash away food and bacteria, and contains minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, and other substances that help keep your teeth healthy and strong. It’s a good thing saliva is so useful, because you produce about a quart a day. In 4 days you could fill a 1-gallon milk jug. Picture that next time you see a gallon of milk…
Someday we may be able to regrow our own teeth! Teeth contain stem cells, and scientists are trying to discover how to use the stem cells to recreate teeth. Imagine a future where your dentist grows new teeth for you, instead of getting fillings or crowns.
Wisdom teeth usually appear in the teen years. However, Robert Grey had a wisdom tooth erupt when he was 94 years and 253 days old.
Many people notice a person’s smile before anything else. Interestingly, women smile an average of 62 times a day while men average 8 smiles a day. Kids have adults beat in the happiness competition, though. While adults’ laughter averages out to around 15 laughs a day, kids laugh around 400 times a day. Keep laughing kiddos! You bring joy to us all.
We hope you enjoyed these fun facts! Of course, no matter how interesting they are, the most important fact is that you only get one set of baby teeth and one set of permanent teeth (unless scientists figure out that whole regrowing teeth thing). So, it is super important to take great care of them. We love to help you keep your teeth healthy and are glad to be seeing our wonderful patients again. Our office is now open to all our pediatric and orthodontic patients, and we can’t wait to see your beautiful, unique smiles.
At Jungle Roots Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics, we strive to provide the highest comprehensive pediatric and orthodontic dental care in a unique, fun-filled environment staffed by a team of caring, energetic professionals. We believe the establishment of a “dental home” at an early age is the key to a lifetime of positive visits to the dentist.
Call Us at (480) 759-1119