Some Dental History “Bites”

dentures 1800

Dentures in the 1800’s

Dental history is rich with intriguing information, but amidst all the details there are also funny and even unbelievable facts that are great for a laugh and can even teach you something as well.

At Dr. Marchbanks’ office, we like to keep a list of some of the most unusual dental facts and tidbits that we come across. Here are some that we think you’ll enjoy…

  • Children have the right idea about smiling… they smile about 400 times a day. Women smile about 62 times a day, compared to men who smile about eight times a day.
  • Each person’s set of teeth is unique much like their fingerprints. Even identical twins do not have exactly the same set of teeth.
  • Did you know that your tongue print is also unique?
  • Even the hand you write with can affect your teeth. Right-handed people, tend to chew food on their right side, while left-handed people tend to chew on their left side.
  • The electric chair was invented by a dentist.
  • William F. Semple, a dentist from Mount Vernon , OH was issued the first patent in 1869 for chewing gum.
  • In the old days, when dentures weren’t invented yet, dentists would do a quick surgery in implanting teeth in the mouth of a person. The teeth came from dead people! Aztec dentists would mix iron fillings, water and navel lint bake and insert it in the cavities to seal it.

Q. Guess who worked as a silversmith, a copper plate engraver, a dentist, and still found time to warn the countryside when the Brits were coming?

A. Paul Revere

Q. And who do you suppose daydreamed of the westerns he would someday write while cleaning an unlucky patient’s teeth?

A. Zane Grey

Q. What fearless female shattered the fluoride ceiling when she received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1866?

A. Lucy Hobbs Taylor

Q. What famous artist depicted his stone-faced dentist as a farmer in “American Gothic”?

A. Grant Wood

Q. Which celebrities have donned braces to make their smiles even more glamorous after achieving stardom?

A. If you guessed Diana Ross, Carol Burnett, Cher, Jill St. John or Jack Klugman, you’re right!

Q. How many athletes avoid dental tragedy each year by covering their pearly whites with mouth guards?

A. 200,000

Q. What delectable dairy delights should you chomp on to keep your smile sparkling white?

A. Cheese! Specifically, aged cheddar, Swiss or Monterey Jack)

Q. What obscure Mexican super-plant is 1,000 times sweeter than table sugar, doesn’t cause tooth decay and could ultimately serve as a low calorie sweetener?

A. Lippa dulcis! If you got that one right, you’re probably a dentist.

And here are some interesting animal tooth facts…

  • Dogs have 42 teeth
  • Cats have 30 teeth
  • Pigs have 44 teeth
  • The armadillo has 104 teeth!!
  • The snail’s mouth is no larger than the head of a pin, but it can have over 25,000 teeth!
  • The Elephant grinds down its molars and grows new ones. This happens six times in its lifetime!
  • The elephant’s molar is about 7″ square!!!
  • The Blue Whale is the largest mammal on earth, but it eats only tiny shrimp because it has no teeth!
  • The Crocodile Bird flies into the open mouth of a crocodile and cleans its teeth for it!
  • The teeth of the Pocket Gopher grow up to 15″ a year! By continually gnawing, they wear them down and they stay the same size.
  • Rats, mice and your hamster among others have teeth that grow continually. If you have one as a pet, it must have wood to gnaw on to shorten its teeth, or it can die.
  • The Dolphin only gets one set of teeth to last a lifetime!

We hope you enjoyed these interesting dental “bites”. If it has been more than 6 months since your last dental cleaning, your teeth are in need of a professional cleaning. Our Arlington TX dental office is a welcoming place to call your dental home. Remember to check out our web special for new patients!

About Mark C. Marchbanks, D.D.S.

Dr. Mark Marchbanks has practiced dentistry in Arlington Texas since 1983. He enjoys caring for patients young and old. You can find Dr. Marchbanks on
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If it's been more than 6 months since your last teeth cleaning, give us a call today to schedule your check-up.

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