841 Blossom Hill Road · Suite 213 · San Jose, California, 95123

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Dental Trivia and Weird Facts

  • The Father of our country--George Washington-- had several dentures made of hippopotamus, cow, walrus teeth and elephant’s tusks.
  • They were held in place by a spring attached to both upper and lower dentures. The stone-faced farmer in the famous painting, American Gothic, was artist Grant Wood’s dentist.
  • Paul Revere, in addition to earning a living as a silversmith and copper plate engraver, also worked as a dentist. Revere , in fact, is the first person known to use dental forensics, to identify the body of a colonial colonel killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill by the bridge appliance he wore.
  • A $250,000 mechanical mouth developed by dental researchers can duplicate a year’s worth of chewing in 24 hours and take four bites per second, thus drastically speeding up the testing of dental materials. Unfortunately, it keeps breaking down!
  • Next to the common cold, tooth decay remains the most prevalent disease in the United States, even though a third of all youngsters between the ages of 5 and 17 cavity free.
  • Athletic mouth guards have been credited with preventing many sports injuries each year. The total number of orthodontic patients has doubled since 1971 and today 15 to 20 percent of patients wearing braces are between the ages of 20 and 60.
  • Certain cheeses, including aged cheddar, Swiss and Monterey Jack, have been found to protect teeth from decay. Ask Dr.. Gray about her published Research at the American Dental Association.
  • An obscure Mexican plant, the Lippa dulcis, has been found to be about 1,000 times sweeter than table sugar, doesn’t cause tooth decay, and in the distant future, could serve as the source of a low-calorie sweetener.
  • Not long ago, dentures were common wedding gifts in the British Isles because may people expected to eventually lose all their teeth and expedited the process by having them extracted at an early age.
  • About 60 different herbs commonly cited for treatment of dental problems in ancient Chinese medical books have indicated potential value in the prevention and treatment of tooth decay and gum disease and may one day be added to toothpaste and mouthwashes in this country.
  • Every person has a set of teeth as unique as his or her fingerprints, and even the “dental fingerprints” of identical twins are different. Forensic Dentistry is an integral part of most CSI departments.
  • American’s best-known author of western novels, Zane Gray, was a dentist before becoming a writer
  • Jill St. John, Jack Klugman, Diana Ross, Carol Burnett and Cher have all worn braces as adults.
  • There is a name for the soreness that results when you burn your mouth on melted mozzarella- it’s "pizza palate".
  • Americans spent $322 billion on health care in 1982, and of that amount, dental care expenditures totaled $19.5 billion- only 6 percent of the nation’s total health care bill.
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the first United States community to fluoridate its public drinking water, in 1945.
  • Teeth in a growing fetus begin to develop only six weeks after conception
  • Today's tooth fairy needs a lot more silver than she did in 1900 when she left an average of twelve cents. In 1998, the tooth fairy left an average of one dollar.
  • Athletes are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth when not wearing a mouth guard during athletic activities
  • If you don't floss you miss cleaning 35% of your tooth surfaces
  • Among the first known dentists in the world were the Etruscans. In 700 BC they carved false teeth from the teeth of various mammals, and produced partial bridge work good enough to eat with.
  • The earliest record of tooth decay was described by the Sumarians as "tooth worms". There is also historical evidence that around 2700 BC, Chinese acupuncture was used to treat tooth pain.
  • The first braces were constructed by Pierre Fauchard in 1728 in France . These braces consisted of a flat strip of metal connected to the teeth by pieces of thread.
  • Orthodontic brackets were invented by Edward Angle in 1915. If you or your parents had braces before 1970, they were probably similar to those invented by Dr.Angle.
  • Over three million miles of dental floss is purchased in North America each year
  • On September 20 China celebrates "Love your Teeth Day" - a national holiday promoting oral awareness among its 1.2 billion people
  • Not long ago, dentures were common wedding gifts in the British Isles because many people expected to eventually lose all of their teeth and expedited the process by having them extracted at an early age
  • Over 40% of North Americans have at least one tooth that could benefit from some type of treatment
  • The first toothbrush with bristles was developed in China in 1948. The bristles were taken from hogs, and later horses and badgers. Nylon bristles were introduced in 1938 by Dupont.
  • In Vermont , it is illegal for women to wear false teeth without the written permission of their husband
  • Most tooth loss in people under 35 years of age is caused by athletic trauma, fights or accidents. The causes of most tooth loss in people over 35 is periodontal disease.
  • During the Dark Ages, (400-1400 AD) popular belief was that you could grow a lost tooth by obtaining a tooth from someone else - ideally from a hanged criminal?
  • 50's heart throb James Dean had no front teeth! He wore a bridge.
  • Some other common tooth remedies from ancient times..for toothache, boil earthworms in oil and use the oil to put drops in your ear. To make loose teeth firm tie a frog to your jaw.
  • The first set of false teeth were discovered in the 8 th century BC
  • 20% percentage of patients wear braces between the ages of twenty and sixty
  • Most children are brought to the dentist for their visit at the age of three.
  • 100 years ago 50% of adults in North America were toothless.
  • Today less than 10% of adults over age 65 have lost teeth.
  • Most tooth loss in people over age 35 is from Periodontal Disease.
  • Approximately $2 billion a year is spent on dental products a year in the United States . (toothpaste, mouthwash, floss and toothbrushes)
  • According to a "Time Magazine Survey", 59% of Americans would rather sit in a Dentist's chair than sit next to someone on a cell phone.
  • 90% of systemic diseases have oral manifestations.
  • Tooth Decay is the 2nd most common disease in the U.S. after the common cold.
  • Over 40% of North Americans have at least one tooth that could benefit from some type of treatment
  • Over three million miles of dental floss is purchased in North America each year

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