Visiting a dentist may be a relatively modern concept, but people have been using the toothpaste since 500 B.C. The ancient Greeks would use a mixture containing iron rust and coral powder to clean the teeth while the toothbrushes were bunches of tree twigs that were chewed by people.
Since then, dental care has advanced and now we get many different tools at our disposal to help us take care of our teeth. Knowing a little more about teeth and how your behaviours affect your oral health can help you take better dental care and keep you smiling long into the future.
Your mouth is home to 300 types of bacteria
The plaque contains millions of bacteria that are made up of 200 to 300 different species. The main cause of poor tooth health is Streptococcus mutants that convert sugar and other carbohydrates into the acids that eat away your teeth.
Yellow means decay
Yellow colour doesn’t just signify a coffee stain. Enamel is partly responsible for the white appearance of your teeth and when it decays, the teeth start to appear yellow. Decaying enamel is blamed for the pain you feel.
Dentin grows, enamel doesn’t
Dentin is the layer which lies beneath the enamel and it is harder than your bones. It is made up of small channels and passageways which transmit the nerve signals and nutrition through the tooth.
Dentins are of three types:
Although the enamel is basically static, but the dentin continues to grow and change throughout your life.
Your enamel is the hardest part of your body
The enamel is the outermost layer of the teeth, which is like a hard shell. Its primary purpose is to protect the rest of the tooth. Unlike bones, the enamel is made of calcium and phosphate, but it is much stronger due to specific proteins and crystallites that form it.
But it isn’t invincible
Although the enamel is there to protect your teeth, it can still crack or chip since it is not safe from the decay. Sugar and acids that are found in soft drinks interact with the bacteria in your mouth, thereby attacks your enamel which marks the beginning of tooth decay. Soft drinks are damaging the enamel when you drink them often or slowly throughout the day.
And you have 32 of them
Starting from your front teeth to the back of your mouth, you have 8 incisors (front teeth), 4 canine teeth, 8 premolars and 12 molars.
They’re a bit like icebergs
About a third of each tooth is underneath your gums and this is why keeping them healthy is important to ensure that your teeth are well cared. Your gums should be firm and pink in color.
Your teeth are uniquely yours.
The teeth are like your fingerprint and hence they are uniquely yours. That’s the reason dental records are sometimes used to identify the human remains. The identical twins do not have identical teeth. Additionally, your tongue also has a unique tongue print.
Plaque is the enemy
White and Sticky plaque are constantly growing and if you don’t remove it regularly with brushing and flossing then it can cause tooth decay. Without removal, it hardens and develops into tartar. Therefore, brushing and flossing at least twice a day is important and also visit your dentist for regular cleanings.
You make 10,000 gallons of spit
The body produces about a quart of saliva every day that comes out to about 10,000 gallons over a lifetime. It plays significant roles in your overall health. It makes food easier to swallow and contains enzymes which jumstart the digestion. Saliva washes away the lingering food particles from your teeth and it contains calcium and phosphate that neutralize the acids in plaque which causes decay and damages.