Happy Toothache Day! It doesn’t sound like the best holiday, especially if you’re actually suffering from a toothache. National Toothache Day was focused on dental care rather than celebrating this incredibly painful affliction. It’s an important reminder to pay attention to the health of your teeth and gums. Mark it on your calendar as the perfect time to call up your Las Vegas Dentist and make an appointment for a checkup.
Despite the holiday to jog your memory, proper dental hygiene and regular checkups are essential for ongoing health and a bright, beautiful smile. To keep your teeth at the forefront of your mind, here are some unique facts about them.
Early History of Dentistry Goes Back
Although it is possible that specific people dedicated to tooth care were around for even longer, the first known dentist on record was a man named Hesi-Re who lived in Egypt over 5000 years ago. At that time, he probably used a toothbrush from a splintered twig to keep his patient’s mouth clean. This practice continued well into the Common Era. An intelligent man in China came up with a more modern design of a toothbrush that uses bristles.Toothpaste came well before the modern age as well. Ancient Egypt was again the source for this helpful solution. Around 400 A.D., the Egyptians used a mixture of abrasive salt, pepper, and mint to freshen their breath and maintain proper oral health. Ancient Romans used crushed egg shells and honey. Fast forward to 1873 and you will find Colgate developing the first modern toothpaste.
Spend More Time Brushing Your Teeth
Most people stand in front of the sink scrubbing back and forth with their favorite toothbrush for two or more minutes. While this seems to be just a tiny blip in your busy day, all those minutes add up to over 38 days over your entire life. Just imagine how clean your teeth would be after brushing them for that long.Unfortunately, most people do not spend the recommended 2 to 3 minutes brushing their teeth at each session. Instead, the average length of time hovers around just 45 seconds. This may be the reason for so many cavities and instances of gum disease people suffer from.
Tooth Prints are as Individual as Fingerprints
Most people have seen a detective show where an unfortunate victim is identified by their dental work. This works in real life too because not only are most dental procedures a matter of medical record, but the prints of the teeth themselves are unique. As an added identifier, each person has a different tongue print as well.
Teeth are the Hardest Part of the Human Body
While it may seem that our bones have the most strength, it is really the enamel on every tooth in your mouth that wins the title of hardest and strongest. This thin layer of smooth white material is formed from calcium phosphate. It protects the softer inner parts of each tooth and allows us to bite through crisp apples, grind down whole grains, and even crunch bones and check gold coins to make sure they are real.
Scientists use something called the Mohs Hardness Scale to assign numbers to materials based on how hard they are. Tooth enamel comes in at a five, which is the highest designation found for a body part. It is harder than steel and no weaker than the teeth of sharks or other major predators.
Teeth Reveal Disease and Can Help Cure It
Over three-quarters of all Americans will get a cavity before their 18th birthday. Also, three-quarters have trouble taking care of their gums which can lead to infections and disease. Both can result in very painful toothaches and long-term problems. Many people may consider these to be the most serious problems that can occur in the mouth, but teeth reveal a darker truth as well. Over 300 types of bacteria operate inside the average human mouth. These form plaque and cavities without proper dental care. Without management, the bacteria and resultant inflammation can contribute to heart disease, endocarditis, certain cancers, and even premature births for pregnant women.However, it is not all doom and gloom inside the mouth. The dentin in teeth is an excellent source of mesenchymal stem cells. These easily-harvestable cells from deciduous baby teeth are well understood and utilized by researchers and doctors to regrow bone, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves.
National Toothache Day gives everyone the opportunity to pause and consider the importance of proper oral hygiene and overall health. While it can be fun to learn that an elephant’s tooth may weigh up to seven pounds or that snails can have 25,000 teeth in their tiny mouths, the true lesson is how well you should care for your teeth. Do not wait until another year or even a few months pass you by. Make and keep regular appointments with your dentist to prevent periodontal disease, avoid a future with dentures or implants, and keep your bright, happy smile for the rest of your life.