Even to those who have studied human biology and medicine, the body can be a mysterious and fascinating thing. In fact, the more you learn about how our bodies work and what they’re capable of, the more amazing it all seems.
The mouth and teeth are no exception – you may be surprised, shocked or even a little grossed out to learn some of these weird facts about your teeth and mouth…
1. Your Tongue & Teeth Are As Unique As Your Fingerprints
Just like the tips of your fingers, your teeth and your tongue are uniquely yours and cannot possibly be identical to anyone else’s in the world – even if you have an identical twin. This explains why you often hear TV detectives talking about dental records to identify someone. But don’t worry, it’s unlikely that tongue prints will ever replace the classic fingerprint.
2. You Can’t Smell Your Breath
If you suspect that your breath might be less than fresh, there’s no point doing the old cup your hand over your mouth and nose and exhaling thing; it doesn’t work. If you really want to know, you have a couple of options: ask someone you trust to give you the truth or lick a cotton pad (or the back of your hand), let it dry for a few seconds and then sniff.
3. You Only See Two Thirds of Your Teeth
Like icebergs, what you see of your teeth is only part of what’s really there. A whole third of your teeth lies beneath your gums, which is why it’s so critical for you to care for your gums as well as your teeth.
4. 300 Types of Bacteria Live There
As gross as it may sound, the fact that 300 different types of bacteria live in your mouth, it’s good for you to keep that fact in mind. Maybe you’ll be less likely to go to bed without brushing if you’re thinking about 300 types of bacteria having a party in your mouth.
5. A Quart of Saliva a Day
Your mouth produces one to two quarts of saliva every single day – hard to imagine, isn’t it? It might sound insane but you need it to help break down food so your body doesn’t have to work so hard to digest it. And it also protects your teeth from bacteria, so you should be glad for every drop!
6. Your Enamel is Hardcore
Tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in your whole body (even harder than your bones!) and it has to be in order to protect your teeth. It’s basically the outer shell that protects the inside, but it can break down over time so it’s important to avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks and practice good dental hygiene every day.
7. You Spend 38 Days of Your Life Brushing Your Teeth
The average person (who brushes twice a day), will spend a combined total of 38 days brushing their teeth over the course of their life. It sure seems like a lot when you add it up like that, but consider that it’s time well spent if you want to have a healthy and beautiful smile.
Now you have 7 new interesting bits of knowledge to bring up at your next dinner party… but you may want to save the ones about saliva and bacteria until after everyone has finished eating.