Dental Trivia

Did you know that a dentist helped invent the cotton candy machine? Or that ancient people used twigs as toothbrushes? It’s true! Check out these fun and fascinating facts to learn more!
Fun Dental Trivia
  1. The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva (spit) in a lifetime. That is enough saliva to fill 2 swimming pools!
  2. The Statue of Liberty’s mouth is 3 feet wide.
  3. A sneeze zooms out of your mouth at over 600 mph!
  4. Most tooth loss in people under 35 years of age is caused by athletic trauma, fights or accidents.
  5. Most tooth loss in people over age 35 is from Periodontal Disease.
  6. Children begin to develop their primary teeth 6 weeks after conception while in their mothers womb.
  7. If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 35% of your tooth surfaces.
  8. A tooth that has been knocked out starts to die within 15 minutes, but if you put it in milk or hold it in your mouth it will survive longer. See a dentist ASAP!
  9. 100 years ago 50% of adults in North America were toothless.
  10. Today less than 10% of adults over age 65 have lost teeth.
  11. In the middle ages, people believed that dogs teeth boiled in wine made an excellent mouth rinse for tooth decay prevention.
  12. Teeth are the hardest substance in the human body.
  13. Ancient cultures chewed on twigs or roots to clean their teeth.
  14. Boar, badger and horse hair were used for toothbrush bristles but were later found to be abrasive and harsh.
  15. The first nylon bristled toothbrush with a plastic handle was invented in 1938.
  16. The first American to get a patent for a toothbrush was H.N. Wadsworth.
  17. The electric toothbrush first appeared in 1939.
  18. Egyptians used a form of toothpaste over 5000 years ago.
  19. Colgate introduced aromatic toothpaste in a jar in 1873.
  20. Colgate dental cream was packaged in collapsible tubes in 1896.
  21. Approximately $2 billion a year is spent on dental products a year in the United States . (toothpaste, mouthwash, floss and toothbrushes)
  22. According to a “Time Magazine Survey”, 59% of Americans would rather sit in a Dentist’s chair than sit next to someone on a cell phone.
  23. According to “Consumer’s Report”, Dentist’s are among the 5 most trusted professionals in the U.S. .
  24. Jaw muscles can contract with a force as great as 55 pounds of pressure on anterior incisors, and 200 pounds of pressure on back molars.
  25. 90% of systemic diseases have oral manifestations.
  26. Regular dental cleanings can help prevent heart attacks.
  27. Tooth Decay is the 2nd most common disease in the U.S. after the common cold.
  28. Adults have 32 teeth, children have 20 teeth.
  29. In 1840 the world’s first dental school opened in Baltimore .
  30. In 1859, 26 dentists met at Niagara Falls and started the American Dental Association for the exchange of information.
  31. Clean teeth can help prevent a heart attack.
  32. 100 years ago one half of all adult North Americans were toothless – today less than 10% of adults over 65 have lost their teeth.
  33. In the Middle ages people believed that dogs’ teeth boiled in wine made an excellent mouth rinse for tooth decay.
  34. The average North American can exert approximately 30-40lbs per square inch of pressure with their jaws – denture wearers can get up to about 15lbs. Some Inuit people can exert 350lbs of pressure.
  35. S. and Japanese studies have found that black or green tea has antibacterial powers that help prevent cavities and gum disease
  36. Over 40% of North Americans have at least one tooth that could benefit from some type of treatment
  37. The first toothbrush with bristles was developed in China in 1948. The bristles were taken from hogs, and later horses and badgers. Nylon bristles were introduced in 1938 by Dupont.
  38. In Vermont , it is illegal for women to wear false teeth without the written permission of their husband
  39. Most tooth loss in people under 35 years of age is caused by athletic trauma, fights or accidents. The causes of most tooth loss in people over 35 is periodontal disease.
  40. During the Dark Ages, (400-1400 AD) popular belief was that you could grow a lost tooth by obtaining a tooth from someone else – ideally from a hanged criminal?
  41. 50’s heart throb James Dean had no front teeth! He wore a bridge.
  42. Some other common tooth remedies from ancient times..for toothache, boil earthworms in oil and use the oil to put drops in your ear. To make loose teeth firm tie a frog to your jaw.
  43. The first set of false teeth were discovered in the 8 th century BC
  44. 20% percentage of patients wear braces between the ages of twenty and sixty
  45. Most children are brought to the dentist for their visit at the age of three.
  46. An obscure Mexican plant called the “Lippa Dulcis” is 1000x sweeter than table sugar. This plant does not cause tooth decay and could serve as the source of a low-calorie sweetener in the future.
  47. There are 60 herbs commonly sited for treatment of dental problems in ancient Chinese medical books
  48. On September 20 China celebrates “Love your Teeth Day” – a national holiday promoting oral awareness among its 1.2 billion people
  49. Not long ago, dentures were common wedding gifts in the British Isles because many people expected to eventually lose all of their teeth and expedited the process by having them extracted at an early age
  50. A $250,000 mechanical mouth developed by dental researchers can duplicate a year’s worth of chewing in 24 hours and takes four bites a second, drastically speeding up the testing of dental materials
  51. Certain cheeses including Aged Cheddar, Swiss and Monterey Jack, have been found to protect teeth from decay
  52. Not only is tooth decay the most common and widespread disease of humankind, it is the oldest. Skulls of pre-historic humans have been examined and tooth decay has been found.
  53. In ancient Egyptian times, you were more likely to suffer from a toothache if you were well-to-do. This was because those who could afford to, ate sweets (such as honey), while the workers ate onions.
  54. Teeth in a growing fetus begin to develop only six weeks after conception
  55. Today’s tooth fairy needs a lot more silver than she did in 1900 when she left an average of twelve cents. In 1998, the tooth fairy left an average of one dollar.
  56. Athletes are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth when not wearing a mouth guard during athletic activities
  57. If you don’t floss you miss cleaning 35% of your tooth surfaces
  58. Among the first known dentists in the world were the Etruscans. In 700 BC they carved false teeth from the teeth of various mammals, and produced partial bridge work good enough to eat with.
  59. The earliest record of tooth decay was described by the Sumarians as “tooth worms”. There is also historical evidence that around 2700 BC, Chinese acupuncture was used to treat tooth pain.
  60. The first braces were constructed by Pierre Fauchard in 1728 in France . These braces consisted of a flat strip of metal connected to the teeth by pieces of thread.
  61. Orthodontic brackets were invented by Edward Angle in 1915. If you or your parents had braces before 1970, they were probably similar to those invented by Dr.Angle.
  62. Over three million miles of dental floss is purchased in North America each year.
Animal Dental Trivia
  1. Dogs have 42 teeth while cats have 30 teeth.
  2. Pigs have 44 teeth.
  3. Armadillos have as many as 104 teeth.
  4. Sharks have an unlimited supply of teeth.
  5. Rabbits, squirrels and rodents teeth never stop growing. They keep them worn down by gnawing on hard foods like bark.
  6. Even though whales are very big, some of them don’t have any teeth. They have rows of stiff hair-like combs that take food from the ocean.
  7. Snails are very small but they have thousands of tiny teeth all lined up in rows.
  8. Minnows have teeth in their throat.
  9. A crocodile replaces its teeth over 40 times in a lifetime.
  10. Turtles and Tortoises are toothless.
  11. A mosquito has 47 teeth.
  12. An Elephant’s tooth can weigh over 6 pounds. That’s heavier than a big jug of milk!
  13. Fangs are not found in all snakes, but all snakes do have teeth, usually 6 rows worth. The teeth are curved backwards, just like the barbs on a fishing hook which keeps their prey from escaping.
  14. “Long in the Tooth”, meaning “old”, was originally used to describe horses. As a horse ages, their gums recede, giving the impression that their teeth are growing in length. The longer the teeth look, the older the horse.
  15. Aardvark teeth have no enamel coating and are worn away and regrown continuously.
  16. The mammal that has the most teeth is the long snouted spinner dolphin with 252 teeth.
Famous Dentist Trivia
  1. Paul Revere – known for his famous ride and his work as a silversmith, put ads in a Boston newspaper offering his services as a dentist. Revere, in fact, is the first person known to use dental forensics, to identify the body of a colonial colonel killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill by the bridge appliance he wore.
  2. Doc Holiday – helped Wyatt Earp win the OK Corral Shootout.
  3. Thomas Welch – his company was the first to bottle grape juice.
  4. George Grant – invented the wooden golf tee.
  5. Zane Gray – wrote bestselling Western Novels.
  6. William Morrison – invented the machine that makes cotton candy in 1897 and unveiled at the World’s Fair in 1904 in St. Louis. He was called “Fairy Floss”.
  7. Horace Wells – first dentist to use nitrous oxide “laughing gas” as an anesthetic for dental work in 1844.
  8. Grant Wood – famous artist of painting “American Gothic”. The stone-faced farmer was his dentist.
  9. George Washington – first President of the United States was the most famous dental patient of Dr. Greenwood. He had several sets of dentures that were made out of ivory. His teeth were not made out of wood!
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