6 Weird Facts about Early Dental History


  1. Tongues are similar to our fingers – like fingerprints, the design of your tongue is 100% unique.
  2. The first floss was invented in 1882, made from strands of silk. Over 30% of your tooth surface can be cleaned only by flossing. That means you are not cleaning 30% or more of your tooth surface if you choose not to floss.
  3. 1938 is the year that the first toothbrush with nylon bristles was invented. Before that, the Chinese invented the first toothbrush in 1498 – their toothbrushes were made of bristles from various animals such as horses and hogs.
  4. Only a century ago, half of the adults on the continent of North America had no teeth. Luckily dental hygiene and general practice has improved substantially – today, less than 10% of adults have lost any of their adult teeth. Before dentures were invented, dentists had to obtain teeth from a dead person to replace missing teeth. When those could not be found (or they simply did not fit properly), teeth were made from wood (why do you think George Washington never smiled?).
  5. Many animals, such as beavers, aardvarks, rats, and horses, have teeth that are continuous in growth, that is, they never stop growing! They keep them “trimmed” by chewing and gnawing. You can actually tell a horses age by looking at its teeth.
  6. Brushing teeth used to be a rather disgusting activity, as toothpaste was made from various combinations of ash, charcoal, and/or tobacco, sometimes sweetened with honey. Some cultures actually used urine as a whitening mouthwash (urine contains urea, which somehow helps whiten teeth). Thankfully, that process has evolved substantially, and even though dental hygiene can still be a tedious process, mint-fresh toothpaste and mouthwashes lend to a less disgusting and overall, a far more satisfying experience!

To learn more about Dental Facts Contact:

J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry

103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101

Huntersville, NC 28078 Phone: (704) 948-1300

Read more weird facts at http://way-to-be-healthy.blogspot.com


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