Oral hygiene is one of those things that you know is important, but it’s so hard to get yourfamily excited about. While a new flavor of toothpaste or cool light-up toothbrush can help get your kids to brush their teeth, you simply cannot do that every night. However, you can tap into the current trivia trend by packing a few cool facts into your cavity-fighting arsenal. As you prepare your family for their daily oral hygiene routine, use these fun dental facts to boost their interest in polishing those pearly whites.
Your Tongue is Unique
Tongues are an often-overlooked part of a person’s oral hygiene routine, but did you know that they can harbor nests of bacteria? For this reason, cleaning your tongue should be a part of your tooth brushing routine. A person’s tongue also has a unique print just like a fingerprint that is completely different from everyone else’s.
Soda Is Worse Than You Think
Although soda is notorious for being a major contributor to cavities, most people have no idea just how bad it can be for their teeth. A single serving of soda contains 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar, and people who drink more than three glasses a day have 62% more cavities and fillings than those who abstain.
You are Short-Changing Yourself
When people are asked how long they brush their teeth, the majority says they do it for the recommended time. However, it has been shown that most people brush for a mere 30 to 45 seconds when it takes a full two minutes to effectively remove most plaque. Set a timer, pick a two-minute song or challenge the kids to a tooth brushing stand-off to make sure everyone brushes long enough to make a difference.
Our Ancestors Used Strange Oral Hygiene Products
Early humans lacked access to the soft-bristled, colorful brushes that we have today so they used to chew on twigs. Additionally, the Greeks used pumice, talc and iron rust as abrasives in their toothpaste. With that taken into consideration, the minty fresh toothpaste we have today is amazing.
Washington’s Teeth Weren’t Really Wood
Legend has it that President George Washington once sported a set of charming wooden dentures. While those were a thing, his were actually made from elephant ivory, gold, hippopotamus tusks and human teeth. Just thinking about having other people’s teeth and foreign objects in general in your mouth should get you motivated to keep yours clean!
There’s a Fancy Word for Toothache
If you want to impress your dentist, just ask them about odontalgia. This was the winning word in the 1986 National Spelling Bee, and it simply means toothache. Hopefully, you never know what that feels like from true experience, and you can keep those aches away by visiting your dentist twice a year.
We Are Born Bacteria-Free
Although dental plaque contains up to 300 different types of bacteria, newborns enter the world without a single type in their mouth. Unfortunately, habits such as cleaning pacifiers with your mouth, sharing utensils and kissing on the lips all transfer your oral bacteria to your little one. While you might not be able to resist kissing that adorable face (nor should you), limit the amount of food sharing you do to ensure that their smile stays healthy once it arrives.
Knowing a few facts such as how snails have more than 25,000 teeth can make brushing yours more interesting. Tonight, skip dessert, and instead treat your family to a few interesting facts that will stimulate their curiosity about the best ways to take care of their teeth. From the yuck factor of our ancestor’s tooth brushing habits to comparing tongue prints, sharing these facts is guaranteed to generate some big, clean and healthy smiles.