Let’s face it – facts and figures door necessarily have to be useful to be interesting. If they did, there’d be no point in things like the Guinness Book of World Records even existing. Even when certain facts have no practical value whatsoever, they can still be interesting and informative. Not to mention, encouraging and motivating in certain instances.
Why the long introduction? In short, we’ve decided to put together another list of informative and entertaining facts and figures – none of which we can say are particularly life-changing! That said, they’re definitely the kinds of teeth trivia titbits that can’t help but make you think. And of course, thinking about oral health and hygiene a little more is something most people could probably benefit from.
So without further ado, here’s a brief rundown of just a few more facts and snippets you might find interesting. As always, we’d be delighted to hear from you with your own weird and wonderful facts, not to mention any comments or thoughts you have on any of these fascinating factoids:
- “Love your teeth day” is an official holiday in China
First and foremost, the United Kingdom often comes together for some kind of oral health awareness drive or another. Over in China however, they take things to extremes. On the 20th of September every year, China celebrates “Love your teeth day”. Which goes far and above everything here by being an official annual holiday. Dental decorations, kids dressed up as teeth, the most elaborate superheroes you’ve ever seen and more special events than you could dream up in a lifetime. On the whole, a pretty fantastic idea for getting the whole family more interested and involved in oral health and hygiene.
- Germans use to kiss donkeys to cure toothache
Back in the middle ages, Germany had what you can only call a novel and creative approach to treating painful teeth. Of course, it’s not as if standard painkillers in any form had been invented this far back. So instead, they came up with their own method of curing toothache – kissing a donkey. Where, why and how this particular approach was first dreamed up remains something of a mystery. In fact, the only thing we know for sure is that for relatively obvious reasons, it didn’t work…so don’t bother trying it for yourself!
- Ancient Greeks were the first to invent dental pliers
If you’ve ever wondered exactly who was responsible for the creation of those dreaded dental pliers we all know and fear today, the answer is the ancient Greeks. Thousands of years before the first electric toothbrush would arrive in civilised society, the Greeks were already getting busy pulling teeth with their rudimentary pliers. Sadly for those concerned, this took place long before any kind of effective anaesthetic was invented. Which in turn meant that aside from copious amounts of alcohol, there was little available in terms of pain relief.
- Sharks have three rows of sharp teeth in both of their jaws
If you think it’s tough taking care of the teeth in your own mouth, spare a thought for the poor shark. Along with having three rows of teeth in both their top and bottom jaws, sharks can potentially grow close to 40 sets of teeth in the course of a lifetime. Strong and healthy teeth for life, without a professional water flosser or electric toothbrush in sight!
- Most people prefer blue toothbrushes to red ones
The obvious question that presents itself here is…why? Why is it that in a variety of experiments, it has been shown that men and women alike gravitate towards blue toothbrushes more instinctively than the exact same toothbrush in red? The answer…well, sadly we have no idea! There are various psychological theories, but the truth is it all remains something of a mystery. Still, it’s worth taking note of your own preferences next time you head out to the supermarket to pick up a toothbrush.
- The bristles of toothbrushes were once made of cow hair
There was a time not so long ago when vegetarians and vegans may have found it very difficult to look after their teeth. That said, we are of course talking at the time when vegetarianism for the most part hadn’t yet been invented. Which was helpful, given the way in which toothbrushes across the board were fitted with bristles made from animal hair. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until pretty far into the 18th century that synthetic bristles were even invented.
- The first commercial dental floss was made in the year of 1882
One thing you can say about the first commercial dental floss invented is that it wasn’t particularly sophisticated. And nor was it particularly kind to the teeth and gums of those using it. Nevertheless, the fact that it paved the way for every single type of dental floss produced thereafter earns it an important place in the history books.
- Dental plaque contains more than 300 species of bacteria
The main reason for getting rid of dental plaque is to reduce the risk of cavities, gum disease and so on. However, the second reason is that it is simply disgusting stuff. While they may all be invisible to the naked eye, there are more than 300 species of bacteria doing their business in dental plaque.
- Fingers and twigs were the very first toothbrushes
As far back as recorded history goes, human beings have been using rudimentary tools (including their own fingers) in an attempt to keep their teeth clean. For obvious reasons however, sticking your fingers in your mouth during an era where hygiene standards weren’t exactly up to par presents its own selection of potential problems. Still, better than nothing…maybe.
- Crocodiles have their teeth cleaned by birds
Last but not least, and while it might sound like something fresh from the pages of a fairy tale, the crocodile bird serves as a personal hygienist for these terrifying creatures. These brave birds fly into the open mouths of crocodiles and clean their teeth with their beaks – the crocodiles themselves not seeming to mind this complementary service at all!