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Five Fun Dental Facts

With this week’s blog we thought we would give you a few fun dental facts that you might not have known. You can break one or more of these out at your next dinner party — and we’ve even added a follow-up topic to each one so you’re not just that Cliff Clavin type who breaks out random facts at dinner parties.

Dental facts: Did you know tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body?

Tooth enamel is made of calcium-deficient hydroxyapatite, a more durable version of regular calcium-rich hydroxyapatite, which is what your bones are made of. Its strength has a downside, however: tooth enamel is mostly inorganic and one of the only body parts that can’t regenerate or repair itself on it’s own.  All the more reason to protect it by brushing and flossing, limiting acid exposure and going to the dentist regularly.

Follow-up dinner party topic: Would you rather your tooth get knocked out and have to replace it with a bridge the following week, or break your leg and have to be in a cast for 12 weeks?

Dental facts: Did you know the side of your mouth you most chew on is the side of your dominant hand?

One explanation is that you’d hold your fork in your dominant hand, and so food would go in from that side. But it’d be interesting to see what side of your mouth you chew on when you’re eating something with two hands, like a burger.

Follow-up dinner party topic: Left-handed people often feel the world is built for right-handed people. But with the gradual elimination of handwriting, is this still the case?

Dental facts: Did you know you produce between 2 and 4 pints of saliva a day?

Imagine two pint glasses full of spit. Gross, right? But necessary. A well-hydrated mouth means less risk of cavities and nasty breath.

Follow-up dinner party topic: Is it ever okay to spit in public?

Dental facts: Did you know your jaw muscle can produce between 170 and 200 pounds of strength per square inch (psi)?

This makes your jaw the strongest muscle in your body. By comparison, the force an average person creates when they hit a nail with a hammer is roughly 100 psi. On the flip side, the strongest dog jaw belongs to the Kangal Shepherd and creates 740 psi.

Follow-up dinner party topic: Have you ever been bitten by a dog? And did it sully your view of dogs?

Dental facts: Did you know that every person has a unique tongue print?

Fingerprints and bite marks have always been the gold standard for identifying people. But these can both be manipulated with self-mutilation and dental surgery, respectfully. No one’s going to get a new tongue, which is why the biotech industry is currently working on tongue print identification that can be adopted world-wide.

Follow-up dinner party topic: Can you roll your tongue? And did you know that more people can than can’t?