It’s probably pretty rare that you have a conversation with anyone about oral health. Unfortunately, it’s not a hot topic except for those who work in the dental field. Since it is our profession, we find it very interesting, and we’ve discovered quite a few fun facts that you and your child will be interested to learn about!
Whether you’re trying to teach your little one how to take good care of his or her teeth or are trying to hype him up for his first dental appointment, these fun facts about dentistry and oral health should certainly make that process easier.
1. Dental enamel is the strongest substance in the human body.
It’s true! Although dental enamel is also one of the smallest substances in the body, it can withstand an immense amount of pressure and regular wear and tear.
Enamel is made up of two essential proteins: dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSP) and dentin phosphoprotein (DPP). These play two different roles but together create a strong and healthy surface. Click here to learn more about these proteins.
2. Chewing sugarless gum helps prevent cavities.
Many children grow up believing that gum is bad for your teeth. Although some types of gum are, many are actually good for oral health! Sugarless gum helps remove food from between the teeth and clean the surfaces of the teeth. It also contains xylitol which inhibits the growth of bacteria that leads to cavities.
Another fun fact: Santa Anna helped introduce gum to America!
3. Blue is the most popular toothbrush color.
Why this is, we don’t know! But if you or your child have a blue toothbrush, you’re a part of the minority of people who prefer blue over other toothbrush colors. Can you come up with any ideas about why this is true?
4. No mouth is exactly the same.
Forensic dentists use dental records to identify people all the time. Teeth can tell us how old a person is, their ethnicity, and information about a person’s lifestyle and diet. Additionally, the shape, size, and placement of a person’s teeth are unique, like fingerprints.
5. Ida Gray was the first African-American woman to earn a dental degree.
Ida Gray was orphaned as a teenager and faced many challenges growing up. Despite her difficult life, she graduated from the University of Michigan in 1890 with a Doctorate of Dental Surgery, becoming the first African- American woman dentist in the United States.
6. “Bacon” is a toothpaste flavor.
We don’t recommend using bacon toothpaste, but it is available to try! Other bizarre toothpaste flavors include:
- Mint chocolate
- Pumpkin pudding
For the sake of your family and friends, we suggest sticking to mint and cinnamon.
7. Brushing is only 70% effective at cleaning teeth.
Brushing only cleaning the chewing surfaces, fronts, and backs of the teeth. To effectively reduce the risk of cavities, flossing is essential! Be sure your little one is flossing at least once a day to remove the food and bacteria from between the teeth.
Visiting the dentist every six months is another essential part of oral health care. These visits ensure that your child isn’t suffering from tooth decay that could lead to pain, discomfort, and early tooth loss.
To schedule an appointment with our experienced and highly recommended pediatric dentist, Dr. Matt, call (913) 685-9990 today.