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December 09, 2018 4 min read

Think you know everything there is to know about teeth?

Think again. In this post, we’ll reveal 51 interesting and bizarre facts related to teeth, dentistry, smiles, and…snails?

Brace yourself – things are about to get weird!

  1. During your lifetime, you’ll produce about 25,000 quarts of saliva. That’s enough to fill two entire swimming pools.
  2. Flossing daily can extend your life expectancy by up to 6 years.
  3. Because your teeth are as unique as your fingerprints, dental records are used at crime scenes to identify victims.
  4. There are more bacteria in your mouth than there are people on the entire planet.
  5. Before the invention of toothpaste, people used chalk, charcoal, lemon juice, and even ashes to clean their teeth.
  6. You’ll spend an average of 38 days brushing your teeth during your lifetime.
  7. Right-handed people tend to chew their food on the right side of their mouths, while lefties chew with their left side.
  8. Blue is the most popular color for toothbrushes.
  9. Every year, kids in America spend over half a million dollars on chewing gum.
  10. Women smile an average of 62 times a day, while men only smile 8 times.
  11. A child will laugh 400 times on any given day, while adults average only 15 times.
  12. Giraffes have black tongues and no top teeth – only bottoms!
  13. Dentists recommend spending 2-3 minutes per day brushing your teeth, but the average person spends less than 60 seconds.
  14. By the age of 17, 78% of Americans have at least one cavity.
  15. Commercial dental floss was invented in 1882.
  16. Armadillos have 104 teeth.
  17. A snail’s mouth is smaller than a pinhead, yet contains over 25,000 teeth!
  18. An elephant’s molar averages 7 inches in length and weighs 6 pounds.
  19. Blue whales, the largest animals on Earth, eat tiny shrimp because they have no teeth.
  20. The appropriately named Crocodile Bird sits in the open mouth of a crocodile and cleans its teeth.
  21. One can of Coke contains nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar.
  22. The first female dentist, Lucy Beaman Hobbs, was licensed in 1866.
  23. The winner of the 1986 National Spelling Bee won on the wordodontalgia (meaning “toothache”).
  24. The earliest known dentist was named Hesi-Re, who lived in Egypt 5,000 years ago.
  25. Ancient peoples used to chew on tree twigs to clean their teeth.
  26. George Washington’s teeth were not made of wood – they were made from gold, ivory, elephant tusk, and human slave teeth.
  27. As early as 600AD, Mayans were making crude dental implants from pieces of seashells (ouch).
  28. Ancient Greeks cleaned their teeth with alabaster, coral powder, pumice, talc, and iron rust.
  29. 3.7% of American adults have no teeth.
  30. One in three people is born without wisdom teeth.
  31. An average of 3 million teeth is lost every year at sporting events.
  32. The average lifespan of a single taste bud is 10 days.
  33. The average toothbrush contains 2,500 bristles.
  34. Every year, Americans use 14 million gallons of toothpaste and 3 million miles of dental floss.
  35. Americans spend $100 billion on hair care products each year, but only $2 billion on dental care products.
  36. Over half of us have untagged ourselves in a Facebook photo because we don’t like our smile.
  37. It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 muscles to frown.
  38. Nearly 90% of people polled said they’d give up their favorite thing for a year if they could have a beautiful smile for the rest of their life.
  39. We can identify a smile on someone’s face from 300 feet away.
  40. The average person will spend 20,160 minutes kissing during their lifetime.
  41. Mosquitoes have 47 teeth.
  42. Ever heard the saying, “Cat got your tongue?” It originated in Assyria 2,500 years ago, when it was common practice to cut out the tongues of captives and feed them to cats.
  43. Teeth tattoos applied to a cap or crown are becoming more and more popular.
  44. In Southeast Asia, braces are considered cool and trendy. Fake “fashion braces” are popular among young adults – even though they’re illegal!
  45. Brad Pitt voluntarily had his teeth chipped for his role in the movieFight Club (and later had them fixed).
  46. In Korea, wisdom teeth are referred to as “love teeth” because they appear in young adulthood when people are falling in love for the first time.
  47. During the Civil War, soldiers were required to have at least four opposing front teeth to open a gunpowder pouch. Some young men had their teeth pulled to avoid being drafted!
  48. Brushing your teeth daily only became popular in America after World War II. Because it was required in the army, soldiers got into the habit and brought the practice back with them.
  49. Ever wondered why you produce so much saliva right before you vomit? Your body does it instinctively to protect your teeth and throat from stomach acid.
  50. In 1994, a West Virginia inmate braided a rope of dental floss, scaled a prison wall, and escaped!
  51. Every person who accepts a job in Antarctica must first have his or her wisdom teeth and appendix removed.b