For most of us, someone’s smile is the first thing we notice about them. This is perhaps why we go to such lengths to ensure our pearly whites are always at their best. We spend a small fortune on getting cavities filled, on braces to straighten out our teeth, on root canals and ultimately dentures. But for all the attention we pay to our teeth, there are still so many things that we don’t know about them. Here are 10 facts about our teeth that will leave you surprised.
[vs slide=”1″ slide_title=”Cavities Are Caused By Acid Erosion”]
1. Cavities Are Caused By Acid Erosion
If you were unlucky enough to have cavities as a kid, your parent probably told you they were caused by little bugs that ate up your teeth. Science today has shown that cavities are actually formed by bacteria. When you eat sugary foods, bacteria feeds on it and in the process, the acid that they produce eats away at your enamel.
[vs slide=”2″ slide_title=”A Damaged Tooth Starts Dying in 15 Minutes”]
2. A Damaged Tooth Starts Dying In 15 Minutes
When a tooth has been knocked out of its cavity, it will start to die in 15 minutes. Once the decaying process has started, it cannot be replaced in your mouth again. If you ever have a dental injury of this sort, always remember to carry the tooth with you to the dentist. You can delay its death by placing it in milk or by carrying it in your mouth.
[vs slide=”3″ slide_title=”Toothpaste is a Modern Invention”]
3. Toothpaste Is A Modern Invention
Toothpaste as we know it has only been around for the last century. Before that, humans had to look at other ways to keep their teeth strong. According to the time period and which part of the world the belonged to, our ancestors would use charcoal, crushed oyster shells or chalk powder as substitutes for toothpaste.
[vs slide=”4″ slide_title=”Teeth Can’t Self-Repair”]
4. Teeth Can’t Self-Repair
Teeth are one of the only parts of your body that can’t repair themselves. While your bones might (improperly) mend themselves back if they’re broken, teeth can’t do the same. That is why every time you feel a toothache or notice a cavity, it’s important to go to a dentist immediately. Ignoring the problem will only make things worse and it will make the treatment a lot more complicated.
[vs slide=”5″ slide_title=”Plaque Hardens to Tartar”]
5. Plaque Hardens To Tartar
If you aren’t properly brushing your teeth properly twice a day, then start doing it immediately. When you don’t brush your teeth for long enough or get into the little nooks at the back, plaque can start to build up. Plaque is an unappetizing mixture of saliva, food and bacteria. While plaque can easily be removed my brushing your teeth, if it isn’t removed soon, it hardens to tartar. When it becomes tartar, only a dentist can scrape it off.
[vs slide=”6″ slide_title=”You Produce More Saliva Than You Know”]
6. You Produce More Saliva Than You Know
If you collected all the saliva you ever produced through your entire lifetime, it would be enough to fill two full size swimming pools. Sounds gross? It actually isn’t. Saliva helps you digest your food and prevents bacteria from growing in your mouth. If you had an extremely dry mouth, not only would you be terrible to kiss, but you’d also have a healthy bacteria colony flourishing.
[vs slide=”7″ slide_title=”Brushing Right Is in the Technique”]
7. Brushing Right Is In The Technique
It’s not enough if you brush your teeth just twice a day. Brushing the wrong way could either make no difference to the germs, or could actually harm your oral health. Brushing too hard could be too abrasive for your enamel and wear it down. It could also scratch your gums and cause them to bleed. Brushing for a full minute is said to be ideal to fully clean your mouth
[vs slide=”8″ slide_title=”Don’t Forget Your Tongue”]
8. Don’t Forget Your Tongue
While brushing their teeth, most people tend to leave out their tongue. The tongue hosts millions of bacteria which could potentially harm your dental health. After you brush your teeth, brush both sides of your tongue thoroughly and then rinse. If you prefer, you could also use a tongue scraper.
[vs slide=”9″ slide_title=”Do You Really Need to Floss?”]
9. Do You Really Need To Floss?
If you’ve never been excited to floss your teeth (and who is), then we have good news for you. Several recent studies have shown that flossing has very little impact on dental health. Adults who didn’t floss were at no higher risk of developing gum disease than those who routinely did. So celebrate, you just freed up a few extra minutes in your daily schedule.
[vs slide=”10″ slide_title=” Dentists are Not Just For Cavities”]
10. Dentists Are Not Just For Cavities
If your relationship with the dentist operates on a strict need-to-visit basis, then it’s time to rethink it. Even if you feel your teeth are in good shape, a half-yearly visit to the dentist for a check up and basic clean up is essential. He can spot any problems that are likely to occur and ensure your smile is always at its best.