Fun Tooth Facts for
a Healthy Mouth
Did you know that the average person
produces a quart of saliva daily? That’s 10,000
gallons of spit over a lifetime. Saliva is essential to
good dental health because it washes food off the
teeth, neutralizes acids in the mouth, fights germs
and prevents bad breath.
On a daily basis, your mouth is home to
over 100,000,000 micro-creatures who are
swimming, feeding, reproducing, and depositing
waste in your mouth. Makes you want to brush
your teeth, doesn’t it?
Our teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and
our tooth enamel is the hardest part of
our body—even harder than our bones! In order
to keep our teeth for a lifetime, we need to take
care of them by brushing, flossing and seeing
Did you know that 50% of people say that
a smile is the first thing they notice about
someone? Brush twice a day and floss daily so the
smile people are noticing is shiny and white!
We think a shiny, white smile is attractive,
but did you know in medieval Japan white
teeth were considered ugly? Women used roots
and inks to stain their teeth black, which they felt
was much more attractive.
We need to keep our teeth healthy because
we use our teeth to bite and chew, but did
you know dolphins only use their teeth to grasp?
Dolphins can’t chew, because dolphins’ jaws have
Dental floss was first manufactured in 1882.
If you floss once a day, you will use about 5
miles of floss over your lifetime! Dental floss isn’t
just for teeth—a prison inmate in West Virginia
braided floss into a rope, scaled the prison wall
If you brush your teeth twice a day for two
minutes each time, you will brush your teeth
for about 24 hours each year, or 76 days over the
course of your life! All this brushing will use about
20 gallons of toothpaste.
When we brush or teeth, we should also
remember to brush our tongue. Did you
know that just like our fingerprints, everyone’s
tongue print is different? Our tongue is the
only muscle in our body that isn’t attached to
something at both ends.
In 1816, Sir Isaac Newton’s tooth was
sold in London for today’s equivalent of
$35,700. Don’t expect that much money from the
Tooth Fairy—in America, she brings an average of
$3 per tooth.
been around a
have evidence of the
first dental fillings in
teeth from people who
lived between 7,500 and
9,000 years ago.
In China, they celebrate national “Love
Your Teeth Day” each year on the 20th of
September. To promote dental health, a Chinese
dentist used 28,000 teeth to build a giant tooth-
If you had a toothache in Germany, in the
Middle Ages, you would have been told
to kiss a donkey to cure your toothache!
In 1498, in China, the bristle toothbrush
was invented. The bristles were made of
the stiff hairs from the back of a pig’s neck. Pig’s
hair was used in toothbrushes until 1938, when
nylon bristles were introduced. Your toothbrush has
about 2,500 nylon bristles grouped in forty tufts.
Most Americans did not brush their
teeth every day until after World War II.
In WWII, the military required that soldiers brush
their teeth twice a day to keep their teeth healthy.
The soldiers brought that habit home after the war.
The world’s oldest recipe for toothpaste
is from Egypt in 400 AD. The formula
included mint, salt, grains of pepper and dried iris
flower. A modern day dentist made the toothpaste
and said, “I found that it was not unpleasant,
afterwards my mouth felt fresh and clean.”
Toothpaste was used as long ago as
500 BC in China and India. Ancient
toothpastes included ingredients such as soot,
honey, crushed egg shells, and ground ox’s
hooves. In 1873, Colgate released the first
commercially prepared toothpaste, which had the
minty taste we know today.