They don’t seem to have miraculous functions at first glance, but teeth are one of the first things people notice about us. Preserving a healthy, white smile is of the utmost importance when meeting new people, whether professionally or personally. There’s a lot more to your set of pearly whites than meets the eye when it comes to your overall health. Here is a list of some of the most interesting tooth facts we think that many of you might not know.
1. Tooth Enamel is the Hardest Part of the Human Body
Like any other bone, tooth enamel is primarily made of phosphate and calcium. Since the enamel is for protection, it has a few extra elements such as protein and crystallizes. As strong as this outer shell is, you can still cause damage to your teeth without properly caring for your enamel. Be sure to clean your teeth often throughout the day to reduce damage from acidic food and drinks. You should also avoid chomping on hard foods, or using teeth as tools to prevent any injuries. These safe practices will help you prevent chips and cracks that can permanently damage tooth enamel.
2. Each Person Has a Unique Set of Teeth
There’s a good reason why professionals often use either fingerprints or dental records for identification. The two things have something in common. Like fingerprints, you’re the only person in the world who has a set of chompers like yours. You also have your very own tongue print!
3. Teeth Have Different Shapes, Sizes, and Positions for Different Purposes
We all have incisors, canines, premolars, and molars that help us in our daily functions to chew and digest food properly. Incisors or anterior teeth in the front of our mouths have flat edges. We use these to bite and cut food. Canines are pointed teeth positioned on each side of the incisors. These are good for tearing food and they’re also the longest of all our teeth.
The teeth beside each canine are the premolars. Though the canines are sharper and longer. The premolars are larger in size than the incisors and the canines. They differ in shape than the flat teeth and have ridges to support breaking down food by chewing and grinding.
Adults have more molars than any other teeth. They’re also the largest teeth of the four types. The top of the molars are wide and flat, with ridges to support chewing and breaking down food. Molars are in the back of the mouth and include the wisdom teeth.
4. Some People Never Grow Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the last four teeth to grow in at the very back of the mouth. However, some people never get their wisdom teeth. For some, the teeth get stuck under the gums and never erupt through. Others may experience their wisdom teeth remaining at bone level and never erupting through the gums. Regular exams and X-rays from the dentist will help determine the status and health of your wisdom teeth, and if you will need to remove all or even one of them.
5. Cosmetic Dentistry Is Becoming More of a Common Practice
Cosmetic dentistry can do much more than boost confidence. Some alterations to teeth can change the way you look, sound, and even the way you sing. That must be the reason it has become a rapidly growing industry over the last few years. As social media and video platforms provide access to easy fame, people have increased their desire to have the overall “perfect look” when they smile.
Straight, white teeth are what people want, and they’re willing to pay a hefty price. Prices range from $300 for teeth brightening service to as much as $100,000 for the works, cosmetic surgery included.
6. Some of Us Were Born With Teeth
Although it’s still somewhat rare, some babies have one or two teeth when they’re born. A few babies were even born with their full set of teeth. Having teeth at birth is about a one in 2,000 occurrences. It’s most common for babies to start growing teeth within the first 6 to 12 months. In rare cases, natal teeth are associated with medical conditions, but most of the time there’s nothing to worry about unless the teeth interrupt feeding.
The most important fact about your teeth is that you should keep them in the best health possible for them to last a lifetime. Brushing, flossing and rinsing properly at home will contribute to the longevity of a healthy mouth. Find a dentist to help you create a plan to maintain healthy oral care.