Teeth are used on a daily basis, often without us even realizing or recognizing the fact. From opening up difficult packages, to chomping down on various foods, our teeth are a multipurpose tool that have been available to us since our infancy.
Despite the fact that nearly everyone has teeth, or had teeth, there is still a lot of mystery and misconceptions surrounding them.
So educate and amaze yourself with these ten crazy facts about your teeth below!
- Tatteeth, or tattoos for your teeth, are a real thing.
With all of the radical things you can do to your body these days, tattooing your teeth is probably one of the strangest. Tattoos are not actually applied to a person’s real teeth. In fact they’re simply tattooed onto the caps or crowns. Symbols, images, or pictures of whatever you want can be put onto the teeth cap before it’s inserted into your mouth. So yes, you can have your beloved cat’s photo tattooed onto your teeth.
- It’s cheaper to get dentures than to get implants.
Implants, believe it or not, are far more expensive than having dentures. Each time a tooth gets pulled and a new one is implanted in its place, it costs a person around $2,000. If a person simply has all of their teeth removed and dentures put into place, then the cost will be around $1,000. While having one’s own teeth does have its benefits, more because there is a social stigma placed on not having them, getting a new set of pearly white chompers for half the price of a single tooth seems like a pretty great deal!
- You can never, ever replace enamel, regardless of what toothpaste promises.
Unlike our hair or nails, if enamel is broken or removed in any way, it cannot grow back. Enamel does not have any living cells in it at all so if you damage it, then you’ve done permanent and irreparable damage. Various toothpastes and mouthwashes promise to “restore your teeth” or “strengthen your enamel”, however this is only partly true. Neither toothpaste nor mouthwash can bring back your enamel, but it can cause calcium to bond to the enamel and patch up weak spots.
- You can be born missing teeth.
While having all thirty-two pearly whites present and accounted for may seem normal to you, consider it a luxury. There are many individuals who are born simply missing a tooth. Since your teeth are formed prior to you even being born (known as milk teeth when they come in), these missing teeth are apparent from the time a baby’s full set comes in! When a person reaches their adult years, these gaps will never be filled. One famous actor, Ed Helms (played Stu in The Hangover movies) was actually born with a missing tooth which is why he was able to have the gap in the movies!
- Wisdom teeth really get removed because of decreasing jaw sizes.
For individuals who are born with wisdom teeth, they may find that their jaw is simply too small and they have to get them removed. Wisdom teeth removal is a very common practice and is a reflection of the changes in human bodies over the past few thousand years or more. Wisdom teeth are the very back molars and were used to grind and mash our food, however as body sizes have decreased, so have jaw sizes making it important for wisdom teeth to be removed and more prominent that wisdom teeth are absent at birth.
- You can grow more than 200 teeth thanks to an odotoma!
If you thought going to the dentist to have a single tooth sounds painful, then imagine if you went and they pulled out over two hundred! Thanks to a unique and benign tumor in the dental area, individuals with an odotoma can develop teeth wherever the odotoma is located. Some poor boy from India was taken into a seven hour long surgery to remove around 230 teeth!
- Baby teeth aren’t lost until a person is around twelve years of age.
Those itsy bitsy baby milk teeth that develop in the womb and come in when an infant begins to reach around six months’ of age are actually very important. These teeth will stay with that child until they reach their pre-teen years. Adult teeth start coming in between the ages of 10-14, making those little milk teeth from when an infant is six months old the only set they will have for their entire childhood. Parents who do not place a lot of importance on dental care for their infants and toddlers can leave their pre-teen with deep and painful cavities, and possibly cause dental problems that will carry on when their adult teeth start coming in. Dentists highly recommend brushing teeth as soon as they appear.
- Oral health is linked to general health.
Looking into a person’s mouth can indicate a lot about their overall general health. It’s surprising how many risk factors for diseases and conditions also play a factor in a person’s oral health. Poor diet leads to not only dental cavities and problems, but also obesity, stroke, diabetes and more. Additionally, things such as prolonged stress can show symptoms in the mouth with ground down teeth and periodontal disease; however this stress can also cause cardiovascular diseases.
- A tooth infection can literally kill you.
Sounds scary, but it’s the truth. Your mouth is so close to your sinuses and major arteries that run to your heart. A tooth infection can easily spread to the blood and be pumped throughout your body with the aide of your heart or sinuses. Always head to the dentist when you feel there is an abscess or infection of some kind.
- You’ll spend around thirty-eight days in total brushing your teeth.
That’s right, thirty-eight days of your life will be dedicated to brushing your teeth. The time brushing teeth from infants to old age really adds up! Unfortunately, despite all of the brushing people do, dental disease is still the second most common disease in the US – right behind the common cold!