Chomp! Fun Facts about Teeth
As children, we are fascinated with our teeth – counting them, watching them fall out and grow back in. Waiting for the tooth fairy’s surprise. This fascination continues as we get older and work to ensure that our teeth stay healthy and white. So, while Drs. Hochberg & Diora ‘talk teeth’ you, too, can share some dental tidbits with your young friends, or those young at heart – take a peek at these fun facts about our teeth.
Sharks don’t get cavities. Why? Because their teeth are coated in fluoride. That, combined with the fact that they have rows and rows of replacement teeth ready to go at a moment’s notice, gives them an unfair advantage over humans when it comes to oral health. Humans have only two sets of teeth during their lifetime. By contrast, sharks have about 40.
Humans are lucky! We have three types of teeth: (1) Incisors to bite pieces off, (2) Canines to hold and tear and (3) Molars to grind food. This allows us to eat a wide variety of foods. Some animals, like crocodiles, aren’t so lucky. They only have sharp teeth to grab and kill – greatly reducing their restaurant choices.
Enamel is the hardest material in the human body. It is considered the last line of defense for a tooth. Normal wearing down of enamel does occur over time and is simply a part of aging. We must take care as bacteria can cause this breakdown to accelerate, which is why we brush and floss regularly!
Taste buds only live for about 10 days, or 2 weeks if they are lucky. They go through a life cycle just like every other cell renewal processes in the body.
Shark skin is covered in teeth. Don’t believe me? Both sharks and their cousins, rays, are covered in what are called dermal denticles. Although they look like scales they are actually just modified teeth, with an enamel coating and all! These protect them and also help them swim faster, but enough about sharks.
The jaw muscle, called the “masseter”, is the strongest muscle in the body if we are talking about strength based on force. When all of the jaw muscles work together, the jaw exerts 55 pounds of weight on the incisors and 200 pounds on the molars. This is why we take jaw disorders, such as Bruxism (teeth grinding) and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) seriously – that’s a lot of force! Feel free to visit our website to read about the procedures our doctors provide to help patients experiencing jaw pain.
Your mouth produces over 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime—that’s enough to fill two swimming pools. Saliva has many uses, including assisting you with your digestion and protects your teeth from bacteria in your mouth.
Did you know any of these fun facts about teeth already or did we surprise you?
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