You will be very familiar with the mantra – “look after your teeth as you age, they’re the only set you get” – from everyone older than you your whole life. We get it from teachers, parents, grandparents, and even the dentist as we grow, and they’re not wrong to warn us! When you hear it too often, it can lose all meaning, and it’s one of those things that is easy to forget. You’re already brushing and flossing and doing your thing, but do you really know everything that there is to know about your teeth?
Before we go into ten fun things that you didn’t know about your teeth, let’s look at a few reasons you should be paying attention to all the lectures:
- A Better Quality Of Life
It’s not always easy to get through life with zero dental issues, but if you look after your teeth, this is what you get. Almost half of the people around the world deal with oral health issues, and you could be one of the lucky ones to get to old age without needing implants or dentures (though both are excellent alternatives!). All because you looked after your teeth when you were young.
- Fewer Health Risks
Some people don’t realize that their teeth are going to be affected by other health issues in other areas of the body. Dementia, diabetes, and osteoporosis are all conditions that can and do affect those with poor oral hygiene.
- Money, Money, Money
One of the biggest positives about looking after your teeth is the money that you will save along the way. You should invest your cash into useful oral care items, such as a top of the line electric toothbrush, for example. This may seem pricey at first, but it’s something that you will need, and it’ll be significantly cheaper than paying dental bills!
- Longer Life
With proper oral care, you are handing yourself a longer life expectancy. The effects of bad oral hygiene are many, and each of the possible issues can give you a shorter life expectancy. Isn’t that fun?
- A Prettier Smile
Man or woman, your smile is going to be 100% prettier when you don’t have bleeding gums and rotting teeth. It’s just a fact. You need to take care of your teeth so that you can feel proud of them when you bear them for a camera. Be proud of the teeth that you have when you take care of them, and you’re going to live longer, look better, and enjoy confidence!
Now you know all the best possible reasons for taking care of your teeth, let’s talk through some of the fun things that you didn’t know about your teeth in the first place! Ready? Go!
A Little History
Everyone who understands the risks to their teeth books, regular dental appointments. Going to the dentist is a privilege reserved for those who can afford it. However, did you know that people have been using toothpaste since 500 (ish) B.C? The Ancient Greeks knew what they were doing when they mixed iron rust and coral powder to clean their teeth. Toothbrushes were another matter, as they used twigs to do that! Thankfully for us, dentistry has pulled forward over the years, with advances in dentures and toothpaste being more than the Ancient Greeks could have imagined!
We rely on our teeth every single day for speaking and eating, and they support the shape of your face. It’s a good thing that dentistry has advanced!
You Have Different Teeth To Everyone Else
Did you know that your teeth are as unique as your fingerprints? Dental records are used to identify human remains because no two teeth are the same, which makes them totally unique. Your tongue? It also has a print that’s utterly unique to you. Aren’t bodies neat?!
You Can’t See The Whole Tooth!
The visible part of the tooth isn’t the whole thing, and most people don’t know that! Around a third of your teeth sit under the gum line, and it’s for this reason you should be keeping your gums as healthy as possible. They should remain pink when they’re healthy, not red or weeping, and they shouldn’t be too soft that they move around. Your teeth are behind there and reach your jawbone, so keeping the gums healthy is vital for your ongoing health, too!
You Have More Than 30 Teeth (If You’re Lucky)
Use your tongue to count around your teeth. You should – if you’ve been taking care of them properly and you have all your adult teeth – have 32 teeth under your tongue. You have eight incisors, four canines, eight premolars, and twelve molars. Some people have less than this for a variety of reasons,
Enamel? It’s Solid!
The outer layer of your teeth is made up of enamel. Enamel acts as a hard shell; its sole purpose is to protect your teeth. When it’s damaged, you can end up in pain, and your teeth are weaker because of it. As enamel is made up of calcium and phosphate, it’s similar to what your bones are made from. However, it’s stronger than your bones, which is why it’s perfect for those delicate gnashers in your mouth!
Don’t be fooled, though. Enamel may be solid, but it’s not invincible. It’ll still crack under pressure, and it can decay with acid and sugar influences from food and drinks. The last thing that you want to do is ruin the shield protecting your teeth, which is why good oral hygiene is a must!
Yellow? That’s Not Okay!
Some people believe that teeth yellow with age. Sure, teeth do stain as time goes on from dark drinks like coffee and wine, but any yellowing should be considered a problem. The reason? Well, if your teeth are looking yellow in color, then you could be looking at decaying enamel! This could also be the cause of the pain you could be experiencing. If you are noticing a change in the color of your teeth, seek some advice from your dentist!
The mouth is one of the most bacteria-filled areas of the body. It houses millions of bacteria, and up to 300 different types are happy to set up camp right in your mouth. All of that bacteria will sit and eat away at your teeth if you’re not keeping up with a solid flossing and brushing routine.
Underneath The Enamel Lies Dentin
Dentin is another layer of your teeth that sits under the enamel. It’s harder than your bones, and it’s what transmits all the nerve signals through the tooth. It’s also responsible for tooth nutrition, continuing to change and grow throughout your life. This is the opposite of enamel, which doesn’t change and grow!
Watch Out When Plaque Grows Back!
Did you know that the plaque on your teeth is sticky and continuously grows? You have to be in charge of removing it regularly with brushing and flossing, and if you don’t, it hardens and breaks into tartar. Regular cleaning can prevent this from happening, so if you like your teeth, get them seen to regularly!
Saliva: It’s Necessary
Most people are unaware that their mouths make 10,000 gallons of spit in their lifetimes. Yes, it’s gross, but it does have a purpose! Saliva helps with digestion, making food easier to swallow and gives your food the start it needs for digestion. Without spit, you can’t wash away your food either, so it’s a necessary part of the process for enjoying a good meal.
Your teeth are one of the most essential body parts that you have. Take care of them, and you’ll enjoy them for years!