It is important to visit your dentist at least twice a year to maintain healthy teeth.
Facts about teeth
Teeth are important! No wonder most of us take really good care of them. Brushing, flossing, scraping our tongue, using mouthwash, we do a lot. Our mouth might very well be the part of our body we take the most care of and yet tooth decay and gum disease are still some of the most prevalent diseases in the world. How come? The answer might hide in the fridge!
Surprising or not, the difference between a healthy smile and frequent visits to the dentist might be your diet. Even if you have a perfect oral hygiene routine, it might be hard to keep your teeth healthy, if you don’t watch what you eat.
Too often, we see food as being only the villain when it comes to oral health. After all, it’s sugars and acids from food and drinks that do most of the damage to our teeth. However, there are many types of food that not only don’t harm your teeth as much but can even give a big boost to your oral health.
How much do you know about your teeth? Most people don’t spend that much time thinking about the teeth in their mouth, but giving them a little bit of thought and making sure you understand what they are for and how to properly care for them can ensure that your teeth stay as happy and healthy as possible. Your teeth are amazing! They help you eat, allow you to speak properly, help give structure to your face, and make you look amazing when you smile. How much do you know about your teeth? We’ve put together some of the most fascinating facts about teeth for you to explore. When you’re done, you’ll appreciate your teeth even more. Plus, you might come away with your next ice breaker at dinner.
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Mouth and Teeth Anatomy –
While the mouth is a small part of our overall anatomy, it’s filled with many parts and players, all of which work together to help you eat, drink, speak and have a radiant smile. The key players are incisors, canines, premolars, molars, crowns, gum line, root, enamel, dentin, and pulp.
What Are the Different Types of Teeth
Here’s a quick overview of the different types of teeth in an average mouth:
- Incisors – the sharp, chisel-shaped front teeth (four uppers, four lower) used for cutting food.
- Canines – sometimes called cuspids, these teeth are shaped like points (cusps) and are used for tearing and grasping food.
- Premolars – these teeth have two pointed cusps on their biting surface and are sometimes referred to as bicuspids. The premolars are for crushing and tearing food.
- Molars – used for grinding and chewing food, these teeth have several cusps on the biting surface to help in this process.
- View terms used by a dentist here
Different parts of Tooth –
Each tooth has several distinct parts; here is an overview of each part:
- Enamel – this is the outer and hardest part of the tooth that has the most mineralized tissue in the body. It can be damaged by decay if teeth are not cared for properly.
- Dentin – this is the layer of the tooth under the enamel. If decay makes it through the enamel, it next attacks the dentin — where millions of tiny tubes lead directly to the dental pulp.
- Pulp – this is the soft tissue found in the center of all teeth, where the nerve tissue and blood vessels are located. If tooth decay reaches the pulp, you usually feel pain and may require a root canal procedure.
- People today tend to know a lot about their oral health, but the humans of ages past relied entirely on conjecture for answers about their teeth. Here are some fun facts about teeth that our ancestors certainly did not know.
- Cavities Are Not Caused by Tooth Worms
- In medieval times, most people thought dental cavities were made by tiny tooth worms. These little worms were thought to bore holes in teeth and then hide, out of sight, beneath the surface. The wiggling they did inside the tooth was believed to cause the pain of toothaches.
- Today, of course, science has told us the truth about cavities, namely that they are really tooth decay caused by enamel-eroding bacteria in the plaque that builds up around teeth. When we eat sugary or starchy foods, the bacteria feed on the remnants left on our teeth, while simultaneously creating an acid that eats away at the enamel.
- Thankfully, we also know a lot more about preventing and treating tooth decay today than our medieval ancestors did; with preventative dental care, good oral hygiene, and a tooth-friendly diet, we can keep our teeth healthy for a lifetime.
- Everyone Has the Same Number of Teeth (Mostly)
- The great philosopher Aristotle believed that men had more teeth than women. Even though he was married, he must never have counted, because men and women both develop 20 primary or baby teeth, and when their permanent teeth come in, both sexes receive 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, and 10 secondary molars.
- Things get complicated, however, when it comes to the third molars, often called wisdom teeth. While most people grow wisdom teeth between the ages of 17 and 21 years old, in about 35 percent of the population, wisdom teeth never develop. Some scientists believe that in the future that percentage will continue to grow until humans no longer grow wisdom teeth at all.
- Your Primary and Permanent Teeth Start to Develop Before You’re Even Born
- You may not realize that although you don’t have any teeth visible when you’re born, the tooth buds of your 20 primary teeth, as well as the 32 permanent teeth you will one day develop, are already present in your jaw. The only exception is your wisdom teeth, which don’t begin to develop at all until adolescence.
- All these fun facts about teeth serve as reminders that you can never know too much about taking care of your teeth and gums. Daily preventative care and regular visits to the dentist will ensure that you have a healthy smile for years to come.
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What are teeth –
- Teeth are the hardest substance of your entire body. Enamel is a rock-hard mineral! Once the damage is sustained, enamel cannot regrow or heal itself. Strengthen your enamel with toothpaste and mouthwashes, and eat plenty of foods containing calcium.
- Teeth aren’t bones, despite the fact that they are both hard, white, and contain calcium. Unlike bones, teeth can’t heal themselves or grow back if they suffer damage.
- Enamel protects the dentine beneath it, which is made from living cells and calcified tissue.
- Teeth look yellow when the white enamel is worn down, causing them to become translucent. The weaker the enamel, the more the yellow of the dentine beneath colors the tooth. Another way your teeth lose their whiteness is through regular contact with substances that cause surface stains, such as coffee and tobacco. Whitening pastes have a higher abrasive quality which gently wears away surface stains.
- Only two-thirds of your teeth are visible. The rest is hidden inside your gum. Gums need just as much attention as teeth in your oral health care regime. Plaque left on teeth causes tooth decay. Don’t forget to brush, floss, and use mouthwash two to three times a day.
- Flossing is important because it allows you to remove plaque from below the gum line, where a toothbrush can’t reach. Looking after your gums is important in preventing periodontal disease, which creates pockets around your teeth. This is just one way you can lose teeth by not brushing and flossing regularly.
- Children’s teeth must be brushed as soon as the first tooth shows! Parents can gently clean the tooth with a muslin cloth wrapped around the finger or with a very soft-bristled brush.
- The term “wisdom teeth” was given because these teeth come in later in life.
- The tooth is the only part of the body that can’t heal itself.
Weird teeth facts –
- How your teeth are arranged in your mouth is as unique as your fingerprint— nobody else has a smile like yours!
- Women smile more than men, and children are 26 times more likely to laugh than an adult.
- China has an annual ‘ Love your Teeth’ day on 20 September.
- Teeth start to form in the womb.
- Humans spend 5 days of their lives brushing their teeth.
- The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in their lifetime — enough to fill two swimming pools.
- Mosquitoes have twice as many teeth as humans. The average adult human has 32 teeth.
- There is enough fluoride in a tube of toothpaste to kill a small child. Make sure you encourage your little one to spit out their paste after brushing.
Click here for Food, Drink and Teeth –
Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, calcium-fortified tofu, leafy greens, and almonds, are foods that may benefit tooth health thanks to their high amounts of calcium and other nutrients they provide. Protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, milk, and eggs are the best sources of phosphorus. Both of these minerals play a critical role in dental health, by protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel.
Fruits and vegetables are good choices for a healthy smile since they are high in water and fiber, which balance the sugars they contain and help to clean the teeth. These foods also help stimulate saliva production, which washes harmful acids and food particles away from teeth and helps neutralize acid, protecting teeth from decay. Plus, many contain vitamin C (important for healthy gums and quick healing of wounds) and vitamin A (another key nutrient in building tooth enamel).
- Cheese can protect your teeth! It creates a protective layer around your teeth which neutralizes the acid in plaque.
- Everyone knows red wine can stain teeth, but did you know some of the other worst offenders include curry sauce, balsamic dressing, and ketchup!
- You can create a natural protective barrier to prevent staining before the main meal by eating a leafy salad or steamed veg.
- Brushing within half an hour of eating or drinking certain foods can actually damage enamel as the enamel is softer. Wait an hour before brushing.
- Your saliva is your best natural defense against staining, so sip water regularly.
- Dried fruit is worse for your teeth than normal fruit. The drying process releases free sugars which can contribute to a build-up of plaque.
Foods that damage your teeth –
What you eat matters: While these hard candies seem harmless, eat too many and the constant exposure to sugar can be harmful to your teeth. Hard candies also put your teeth at risk because, in addition to being full of sugar, they can also trigger a dental emergency such as a broken or chipped tooth. Better alternative? Chew sugarless gum
Ice is for chilling, not chewing: You’d be surprised at how many people think ice is good for their teeth. It’s made of water, after all, and doesn’t contain any sugar or other additives. But chewing on hard substances can leave your teeth vulnerable to a dental emergency and damage enamel. Advice: Break the habit and enjoy the water in its liquid form.
Watch your citrus intake: The truth is that frequent exposures to acidic foods can erode enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay over time. So even though a squeeze of lemon or lime can turn a simple glass of water into a fun beverage, it’s not always the best choice for your mouth. Citric fruits and juices can also irritate mouth sores. Make sure to drink plenty of plain water.
Not all coffee is good for you: In their natural form, coffee and tea can be healthy beverage choices. Unfortunately, too many people can’t resist adding sugar. Caffeinated coffee and tea can also dry out your mouth. Frequent drinks of coffee and tea may also stain your teeth. If you do consume, make sure to drink plenty of water and try to keep the add-ons to a minimum.
Sticky foods are your mouth’s worst nightmare: When it comes to picking healthy snacks, many people put dried fruit at the top of the list. But many dried fruits are sticky. Sticky foods can damage your teeth since they tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food. If you find yourself eating dried fruits or trail mix often, make sure to rinse with water after and to brush and floss carefully.
Beware of things that go “crunch”: Who doesn’t love the nice, satisfying crunch of a potato chip? Unfortunately, potato chips are filled with starch, which tends to get trapped in your teeth. If you choose to indulge in snacks like these, take extra care when you floss that day to remove all the food particles that can lead to plaque build-up
Tooth Decay Facts –
- Tooth decay occurs when acids from food and drink create plaque, which dissolves enamel.
- Plaque starts to form 4 hours after brushing.
- Plaque contains over 300 species of bacteria. Using an anti-bacterial mouth rinse will help to key bad bacteria at bay.
- The NHS estimates 1 in 3 adults have tooth decay.
- The number one chronic childhood disease is tooth decay; it’s 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.
- If left untreated, tooth decay in children can lead to malnourishment, problems in speaking and learning, and even death.
- Sugar is a major contributor to tooth decay. As well as being wary of candy and other overly-sweet foods, check the sugar content of everything from ketchup to yogurt. Don’t forget your allowance is 90g a day, and that includes hidden sugar in foods like fruit and vegetables.
Teeth through times –
- People used to brush their teeth using twigs or their fingers before toothbrushes were invented. The first toothbrush tools date back to 3500 BC to Egyptian times.
- In Roman times people would use sterile urine as a mouth rinse.
- Hundreds of years ago, people used to attempt to cure tooth decay by boiling dog’s teeth in wine.
- The Greeks and Romans used to make an abrasive paste out of broken eggshells, bones, ox hooves, and ashes before toothpaste was invented.
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Your mouth, teeth, and gums are more than just tools for eating. They’re essential for chewing and swallowing—the first steps in the digestion process. Your mouth is your body’s initial point of contact with the nutrients you consume. So what you put in your mouth impacts not only your general health but also that of your teeth and gums. In fact, if your nutrition is poor, the first signs often show up in your mouth.
Water rules – Water, especially fluoridated water, is the best beverage for maintaining your oral health. That’s because fluoride helps to make teeth more resistant to acid attacks that can cause cavities. As of 2012, nearly 75 percent of the U.S. population had access to fluoridated water, so drinking water from your own kitchen sink can help prevent dental problems.
Choose Dairy products – Milk, and other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, are low in sugar, which is a good thing for your dental health. Plus, they contain protein and are full of calcium, which can help to strengthen your teeth.
Lean Proteins for the win – Phosphorus-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, milk, and eggs help to strengthen your teeth and contain valuable protein.
Fruits and veggies pack an extra punch – Fruits and veggies are an important part of any balanced diet, and they are also good for your teeth. Since they are high in water and fiber, they help to balance the sugars they contain and help to clean your teeth. Chewing also helps to stimulate saliva production, which washes harmful acids and food particles away from your teeth.
Nourishing Nuts – Nuts contain protein and minerals important for overall health. In addition, nuts that are low in carbohydrates don’t add to your risk of cavities. Why? Because tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria that are activated by carbs. Another benefit is that chewing nuts stimulates saliva production, which can reduce your risk for tooth decay.
Fun teeth facts –
- Your teeth are hard on the outside and soft on the inside. The hard, white part that you can see is called ‘enamel.’ Your enamel means that you can chew food without hurting the soft part underneath.
- Teeth are the hardest part of your body, even harder than bones!
- Although teeth and bones look the same color and are hard, teeth aren’t bones.
- Once your baby teeth fall out, you will grow your adult teeth, which last forever.
- Sweets and candy make a bad acid in your mouth which hurts teeth. Make sure you brush for two minutes every time you do your teeth to keep them nice and healthy.
- Your mouth will make enough saliva in your lifetime to fill two swimming pools!
- You use four different types of teeth in your mouth to eat: incisors, canine, premolars, and molars.
- A t-rex dinosaur had 60 teeth, but you only have about 20!
- Nobody else in the whole world has the same shapes of teeth as you — your smile is special.
Click here for Interesting Human Teeth Facts:
We smile, we talk, we eat… but how? It is our teeth that help us do all these things and almost every one of us has a habit of taking our ivories for granted. Perhaps our teeth are the most ignored ones in our entire body. It is about time that we start taking care of our teeth before it is too late! We really cannot push you about oral hygiene because that’s a matter of personal choice but we can definitely give you a list of interesting human teeth facts that you will perhaps enjoy reading.
Just a heads up, these facts are going to cover some serious and some fun facts. If you expect only serious stuff, you may find this a little disappointing.
- Humans get only two sets of teeth throughout their lifetime. The first set is the baby teeth with only 20 teeth in the set. The second teeth are dubbed as the adult teeth with 32 teeth in the set.
- Teeth start forming way before birth. To be more specific, the foundation of teeth is laid during the fetal stage.
- Despite the fact that teeth start forming long before birth, they don’t really show up until the baby is born and attains the age of about 6 months.
- The tooth enamel is the hardest known substance in the entire human body.
- The plaque formed on our teeth is known to have more than 300 different species of bacteria. Unfortunately, they aren’t healthy ones.
- On average, a person spends around 38 days in his/her entire lifetime brushing teeth.
- Only one-third of the teeth can be seen. The remaining two-third is hidden inside the gums.
- Several diseases have a connection to oral health such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
- Just like fingerprints, teeth are also unique to every human being. No two humans will have identical teeth.
- There are different types of teeth and each type has a specific function. For example, incisors are meant for biting off pieces from food, canines are meant for holding and tearing apart the food while molars are meant for grinding the food.
- Just brushing teeth is not enough. Brushing takes care of 40% of oral hygiene. The remaining 60% is taken care of by flossing.
- The first-ever toothpaste to be ever made was by the Egyptians some 5000 years ago. It was just a mixture of pumice and wine.
- Mountain Dew Teeth or the Appalachian Teeth is the name given to the rotten brown teeth of people in the Appalachian region of the USA. Mountain Dew is their official drink which even replaces water most of the time. It is this constant sipping of this beverage that has caused this dental crisis.
- Chinese researchers are trying to grow teeth synthetically. They collected stem cells from human urine (not a good place to hunt for stem cells) and used the same to grow human teeth in the mouth of a mouse. Beginnings of enamel and dental pulp were recorded but there is still a long way to go.
- Studies show that keeping toothbrushes 6 feet away from the toilets does not really help in keeping toothbrushes free of germs. Toothbrushes get smothered with bacteria every day in our mouth and the best way to keep our toothbrushes free of germs is to keep them dry because bacteria thrive well in moist conditions.
- Using a bristles cap for your toothbrush isn’t going to help either because those caps prevent the bristles from becoming dry. The best thing to do here is to dry out the bristles properly before using a cap.
- Men in ancient Mayan civilization had small holes made on their teeth and fitted those holes with gemstones. They believed that doing so helped to make their mouths pretty.
- Ancient cultures often used twigs for brushing their teeth. The use of twigs as toothbrushes still continues in many countries such as India. These twigs are often obtained from trees like neem and cinnamon that have antibacterial properties. Studies show that these twigs are equally effective as modern toothbrushes.
- The Chinese were the first people to have invented an object closer to the modern-day toothbrush. The handle was made using bamboo and the bristles were made using boar hair.
- Brushing teeth right after eating is not suggested. Right after eating, the saliva in the mouth contains high concentrations of acid. Brushing actually leads to abrasions and brushing right after eating will means acids along with abrasions lead to faster wearing of teeth enamel.
- Norway has the world’s largest tooth bank which stores milk teeth from babies. The bank has 17,000 teeth stored. According to Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) researchers, studying the milk teeth along with urine and blood samples from parents help them to find out how environmental pollution impact the health of both child and mother because the researchers believe that the milk teeth are good indicators of environmental pollution.
- In Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, fake tooth braces are actually styled statements, and youth consider these braces to be cool as opposed to being ugly, geeky, and uncomfortable. These braces sell at a price range of $100 to $1200.
- A 17-year old boy named Ashik Gavai from India was suffering from composite odontoma which led to the formation of a tumor in his lower jaw. The tumor was operated and doctors removed 232 teeth from his mouth. In addition, the doctors also found a brick-like marble structure that they had to break apart using a chisel and hammer to remove it completely.
- The saliva in the mouth is responsible for protecting teeth from bacteria.
- Cavities or dental caries (usually referred to as tooth decay) is one of the most common diseases found in the world.
- Lucy Beaman Hobbs was the world’s first licensed female dentist. She received her license in 1866. The world’s first known dentist lived 5000 years ago. He was an Egyptian by the name Hesi-Re.
- The scientific term used to describe toothache is Odontalgia.
- The most preferred and commonly used toothbrush color is blue.
- Right-handed people will usually chew their food on the right side of their mouth and left-handed people chew food in the left side of their mouth.
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- Your smile is the first thing at least 50% of people notice about you.
- Coconuts are natural anti-bacterial food and can help reduce the risk of developing gum disease and cavities.
- More than 25% of adults DO NOT brush twice a day. This increases the risk of developing tooth decay by 33%.
- Roughly 75% of school children worldwide have active dental cavities.
- 48% of young adults have untagged themselves from a photo on Facebook because of their smiles.
- 90% of a bad breath smell originates in the mouth.
- Modern toothpaste has only existed for about 100 years. Older materials for cleaning teeth include charcoal, ashes, chalk, lemon juice, and more.
- People who smoke are 2-7 times more likely to develop periodontal disease than non-smokers.
- It was customary during the middle ages to kiss a donkey if you had a toothache.
- Tooth enamel is the hardest structure in the human body.
- Roughly 25% of American adults have no teeth.
- If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning about 35% of the surface of your teeth.
- The average human being produces 100,000 gallons of saliva during their lifetime.
- Tooth decay is the second most common disease, second only to the common cold.
- What you think of your teeth is only part of the story; one-third of your teeth are located underneath your gums.
- People prefer blue toothbrushes to red ones.
- Teeth start to form before we are born.
- Almost 65 million American adults have some form of periodontal disease. Of this number 38.4% are women, 56.4% are men.
- Expectant mothers with poor oral hygiene are 7X more likely to deliver premature and low birth weight babies.
- People with periodontal disease are 2X more likely to develop heart disease.
- People who drink 3 or more cans of pop daily have 62% more tooth decay, fillings, and tooth loss than people that don’t drink pop.
- The first toothbrush with bristles was made in China in 1498. Bristles from hogs, horses, and badgers were used.
- Replacing a toothbrush after illnesses help prevent the potential for re-infection.
- It takes 43 muscles to frown. It only takes 17 to smile.
- 61% of adults are attracted to somebody by their smile alone.
- Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body.
- An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it also makes you 3X more likely to develop dental decay.
- Kids miss 51 million school hours a year due to dental-related illnesses.
- By drinking one can of soda daily, the average American gains 15 lbs each year.
- The human tongue is as unique as a fingerprint. No two people have the same tongue print.
- There are more bacteria in the human mouth than there are people on Earth.
- The average woman smiles 62 times a day. The average man? Only 8 times.
- Kids laugh roughly 400 times a day. The average adult laughs only 15 times per day.
- Dinosaurs grew new teeth when one was lost or broken.
- A fossilized T-Rex tooth can weigh up to a pound.
- In 200 A.D., the Romans used a mixture of bones, eggshells, oyster shells, and honey to clean their teeth.
- A snail’s mouth is no larger than the head of a pin, yet it can contain over 25,000 teeth.
- A single can of soda contains 10-12 teaspoons of sugar. The recommended daily dietary intake of sugar is 4 teaspoons.
- In 1994, a West Virginia prison inmate who braided dental floss into a rope scaled the wall, and escaped!
- According to a recent survey by Time magazine, 59% of people would rather have a dental appointment than sitting next to someone who is talking on a cell phone.
- In the 1800s, blacksmiths and barbers also served as dentists.
- Toothpicks are the object most often choked on by Americans.
- The stone-faced farmer in artist Grant Wood’s famous “American Gothic” painting was actually the artist’s dentist.
- Sports-related injuries account for approximately 5 million missing teeth per year.
- Americans spend only $2 billion a year on dental care products.
- Contrary to popular belief, George Washington’s famous dentures were not made from wood. His four pairs of custom choppers were crafted from gold, ivory, lead, and a mixture of human, donkey, and hippopotamus teeth.
- The cotton candy making machine that made widely consumed cotton candy possible was co-invented by a dentist. Before it was cotton candy, the fluffy confection was called “fairy floss.”
- The earliest known dentist was Hesi-ren, an Egyptian “doctor of the tooth” who lived around 3000 B.C.
- The saying “cat got your tongue” originated 2500 years ago in ancient Assyria where conquered soldiers and criminals had their tongues cut out and fed to the king’s cats.
- Cavities in teeth have been filled since the earliest of times with a variety of different materials, including gum, stone chips, and even turpentine resin.
- The lifespan of a taste bud is about 10 days. The five known tastes detected by taste buds are: bitter, sour, salty, sweet, and umami. Umami was identified in 1908 by Japanese research and the chemical responsible for it is monosodium glutamate.
- 60% of people don’t know that a sore jaw when combined with chest pain, can signal a heart attack – especially in women.
- The average toothbrush contains about 2500 bristles grouped into about 40 tufts per toothbrush. The tufts are folded over a metal staple and forced into pre-cored holes in the head and fused into the head with heat. The handle is made of at least two materials, usually plastic and rubber. The grips used for the handle are precision, power, spoon, oblique, and distal oblique.
- 90% of system diseases have oral manifestations.
- The most valuable tooth belonged to Sir Isaac Newton. In 1816, one of his teeth was sold in London for $3,633.00, or in today’s terms, $35,700.00. The tooth was set in a ring.
- Sugar Facts: Chemical manufacturers use sugar to grow penicillin. A teaspoon of sugar after a hot curry will extinguish the furnace in your mouth. A spoonful of sugar added to a vase will prolong the life of freshly cut flowers.
- In the 1800s, people who had false teeth in England ate in their bedrooms before gatherings and events at the dinner table. This unique Victorian tradition protected them against the embarrassment of having their teeth ‘fall off’ while dining.
- Dolphins use their teeth to grab only, not to chew, as dolphins’ jaws have no muscles.
- Mosquitoes have 47 teeth.
- In 1905, dental assistant Irene Newman was trained to clean teeth. She became the first dental hygienist.
- Not too long ago, dentures were common wedding gifts in the British Isles. At that time, many people expected to lose all their teeth and had their teeth extracted at an early age.
- In colonial days, debtors were shipped from Europe to America to work as servants. Instead of signing a contract, they sealed their agreement by leaving their dental imprint in wax.
How to reduce the risk of cavities –
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes to remove sugars and food particles from your teeth.
- Limit between-meal snacking.
- Keep added sugar in your diet to a minimum by making wise food and beverage choices.
- Include dairy, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and water in your diet—they all play a role in your dental health.
Click here for Food for Dental Health:
1) Cheese – Do you like cheddar? It’s rich in calcium. In addition, cheese lowers the acid level in your mouth, which plaque hates it for. What’s more, chewing on hard cheeses increases saliva production, which washes off some of the bacteria in the mouth. Want to munch on some not-so-goo-for-your-teeth snacks like crackers – add some cheddar and you’ll mitigate the damage. Just remember, hard, aged cheeses are the best options.
2) Milk – Together with water, milk is the best drink when it comes to your teeth. It’s rich in calcium and other important elements. Milk also lowers the acid levels in the mouth, which helps fighting tooth decay.
3) Water – Your teeth’s superhero! Water helps wash away food particles and keeps your saliva levels high. Saliva is actually your mouth’s best defense against tooth decay because it contains proteins and minerals that naturally fight plaque and if you stay hydrated, you have an unlimited supply of it.
4) Leafy greens (spinach, broccoli, kale) – Super healthy, leafy greens are rich in calcium, folic acid, and lots of important vitamins and minerals that your teeth and gums love.
5) Fish (fatty fishes, wild salmon, tuna) – Rich in minerals and important vitamins like Vitamin D, fish are a crucial part of any teeth-friendly diet.
6) Meat – Most meats are great for your oral health. They are packed with some of the most important nutrients mentioned above. Red meat and even organ meats are especially beneficial.
7) Black and Green Tea – Think polyphenols! Polyphenols have been known to reduce bacteria and toxic products of bacteria in the mouth. Tea also tends to be rich in fluoride, which is a well-known necessity for healthy teeth. It’s best if you drink it unsweetened as sugar and even honey could ruin the party.
8) Nuts – Nuts are full of health benefits for your teeth. They are packed with tons of important elements like calcium and phosphorus. Especially beneficial are almonds, Brazil nuts, and cashews, which help to fight bacteria that lead to tooth decay.
9) Gum – This one is a no-brainer. Chewing gum boosts saliva production, washing away bacteria and food particles.
10) Cranberries (fresh) – Rich in polyphenols (just like tea), which keeps plaque at bay, thus lowering the risk of cavities. Fresh cranberries are especially effective at disrupting the process of plaque formation.
11) Oranges – Most citrus fruits are really acidic, which is not good for your teeth, but oranges are least acidic of all and have all the health benefits that you can expect from fruits.
12) Strawberries – If you want perfect teeth, you better love strawberries! They are packed with Vitamin C, antioxidants, and also malic acid, which could even naturally whiten your teeth.
13) Yogurt – Yogurt definitely ticks more than one good box for your oral health. It’s packed with calcium and probiotics that protect you against cavities, gum disease, and even bad breath.
14) Carrots – Carrots are so tasty and full of tons of the most important minerals and vitamins for your mouth that they deserve a special mention. No wonder Bugs Bunny has perfect teeth.
15) Apples – Will an apple a day keep the dentist away? Probably not, but it will certainly help. It’s packed with key nutrients and vitamins.
16) Garlic – The allicin that is contained in garlic has strong antimicrobial properties. So, it helps you fight tooth decay and especially periodontal disease.
17) Ginger – Ginger is amazing in many ways. When it comes to oral health it might freshen your breath and inhibit bacteria growth.
18) Whole grains – consumption of whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice) lowers the risk of gum disease.
19) Pears – Unlike many acidic fruits, raw pears are good at neutralizing acids, which makes them a perfect snack at any time.
20) Kiwis – Kiwis have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C.
21) Onions – When eaten raw, onions have powerful antibacterial properties especially against some of the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.
22) Shiitake mushrooms – These tasty Asian goodies are plaque’s nightmare. They contain lentinan, a natural sugar that disrupts the formation of plaque on your teeth.
23) Celery – Celery is so good for your teeth it’s worth a special mention. It’s in many ways the perfect snack for good oral health and is the closest we have to nature’s floss.
24) Soy – A diet that includes soy may help promote healthy gums.
25) Sesame seeds – High in calcium and very efficient at scrubbing plaque off your teeth while you chew them.
26) Sweet potatoes – A healthy dose of vitamin A will do lots of good things for your enamel and gums.
27) Raisins – This is a surprise entry, as raisins even appear as the bad guys in some places when it comes to their effect on teeth. However, they are a source of phytochemicals like oleanolic, which may kill cavity-causing bacteria. They are also rich in antioxidants.
28) Black coffee – An even more surprise entry! However, a series of recent studies have shown that black coffee could protect your teeth from tooth decay and actually help fight plaque. There, of course, is a small catch, the coffee needs to be black and unsweetened.
29) Red wine – Wait for a second! Haven’t we been told hundreds of times to avoid red wine in order to protect our teeth? Well, yes…and no! According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a glass of red wine can have a strong antimicrobial effect against cavities causing bacteria. Cheers to these brave scientists!
30) Coconut – Practiced for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, coconut oil pulling is a fantastic oral detoxification procedure that’s been gaining traction in the last few years. It works by removing toxins from your mouth and creating a clean, antiseptic oral environment that’s needed to prevent cavities and disease and it’s super easy!
Remember the basics
It feels great to munch on tasty foods, which you know are great for your oral health. However, don’t forget what your dentist has taught you. Even after the healthiest entries of this list, it’s always a good idea to clean your teeth in some way from the remaining food particles, sugars, and acids. Brushing, of course, should be your top choice, but if it’s not an option at the moment, you can get gum or at least drink some water.
Myths about teeth –
Myth #1 – No pain, No problem: If my teeth don’t hurt, they are fine, right? Not always. By the time something hurts, it’s gone way too far. We have the pretty much-discredited notion that “wait till it hurts”, Decay does not necessarily hurt.
Myth #2 – Sugar-free soda can’t cause cavities: It’s not just sugar that can get at your teeth. Anything that makes your mouth more acidic can cause havoc. That includes sodas, even diet ones. all sodas, more or less, have a low pH, and low pH causes erosion to your teeth. Once erosion starts, it’s not nearly as tough for cavities to form.
Myth #3 – That brown spot’s a cavity: Not necessarily. A lot of times what it is, that decay process started but then it stopped. [The enamel on the tooth] hardened up again. And a lot of times, when it hardens up, it has a discolored look to it. But it’s not necessarily a cavity.
Myth #4 – A filing is forever: They can last a long time. A decade or more. But the tooth didn’t last a lifetime, so the filling won’t either. God made [the tooth] and it still decayed.
Myth #5 – A filled tooth can still get a cavity: Not only can the filling wear and break down, but the tooth can still decay around the edges of the filling. Nothing’s permanent. But the better care we take of our teeth, the longer we can make them last.
Myth #6 – You can avoid fixing milk teeth: Milk teeth often have thinner enamel and, as a result, are less protected from bacteria. A neglected cavity in a milk tooth can result in purulent inflammation which will later harm a permanent tooth.
Myth #7 – To clean teeth well, you need to use a hard brush: In fact, you can use a soft brush. Some dentists even recommend doing so in order not to harm the gums and enamel. The main thing is to follow simple rules: brush your teeth twice a day, and change your brush every 3-4 months.
Myth #8 – You need to use a toothpick after eating: Use dental floss after eating because you can harm your gums with a toothpick. Besides, if you have a desire to clean your teeth with a toothpick after every meal, it’s an alarm bell: it’s time to visit your dentist.
Myth #9 – The more often you brush your teeth, the healthier they will be: Brushing your teeth too frequently can lead to enamel wear out and tooth diseases due to the abrasive properties of toothpaste. It’s better to rinse the oral cavity with a special mouthwash between morning and evening brushing.
Don’t use mouthwash straight after brushing your teeth or it will wash away the fluoride in your toothpaste (even if the mouthwash has fluoride, your toothpaste’s fluoride is more effective at protecting teeth).
Myth #15 – Do I have to clean between my teeth: Cleaning between your teeth is very important and this can be done with either interdental brushes or floss. The smaller interdental brushes work very well and if you have tight contacts then you may need to use floss.
Myth #16 – It is necessary to clean teeth immediately after a meal: This mistake is very common. Sugar from food becomes acids. The acid softens the enamel layer that protects human teeth. Recently specialists say that the enamel hardens over is 40 – 50 minutes after a meal, and only then is the healthiest time for brushing your teeth. Cleaning earlier than the above mentioned time, the enamel layer wears, which causes the sensitivity of teeth to cold and heat.