Teeth: they’re vital for us and for a variety of other animals. They allow us to eat, show our emotions, keep our faces in place and allow us to communicate with each other by speaking.
Throughout the history of our planet, teeth on all sorts of animals have evolved and been used in some unbelievable ways that probably wouldn’t ever have crossed your mind!
Based on a truly awesome video from FTD facts, we’re going to present you some extraordinary information about teeth. Some of these facts are strange, others are funny, and a number of them are simply unbelievable! Let’s begin!
Some people believe (and it would be natural to assume) that having canine teeth means that an animal is a carnivore. However, the truth is different.
Did you know that many herbivore animals like gorillas and hippos have canine teeth? Although their teeth are able to rip apart flesh, these animals are feeding on fresh, green vegetation. It’s just the way they like it!
As for us people, evolution gave us canine teeth because, at the beginning of our history, we were super-predators. However, although meat is very rich in nutrition, studies have shown that we can live without it. So, are we carnivores or herbivores? In a very real sense, we’re both. Our personal preferences, habits and beliefs can determine which road to choose.
The reason we have wisdom teeth is to serve as a sort of back-up plan in case we lose all our teeth. Who knew! However, over time the evolution of our biology along with technology, medicine, and treatment procedures has rendered wisdom teeth generally obsolete.
According to the video and to AAOMS, 85% of people in the US remove their wisdom teeth. That said, nature seems to be taking care of the wisdom teeth problem because today, 35% of people throughout the world never even grow wisdom teeth. Scientists believe that, in the future, we will not develop wisdom teeth at all. That might be because they’ll phase out with millennia more of evolution, or because scientists will have found a way to stunt their growth in the first place.
Want to learn more about wisdom teeth and watch a hilarious video about wisdom teeth removal? Check out this post about patients’ reactions post wisdom teeth extractios!
The history of the toothbrush
Ever ask yourself when the toothbrush—that precious tool that keeps our teeth healthy and our smiles shiny—was invented? The first bristle toothbrush was invented in China around 600 AC, and was made of hog bristles! We hope they had some strong toothpaste…
The first mass-produced toothbrush like the ones we’re familiar with today is believed to have been produced in Europe by a fellow named William Addis. However, it was just a board with horse hair bristles on it. The first mass-produced toothbrush with nylon bristles was produced in 1930.
Enamel is the outer layer of our teeth, and it’s strong as a rock! For real. Enamel is actually the hardest substance in our body.
However, although your enamel is pretty hard, always try to keep it protected by eating healthy foods, brushing your teeth and keeping up good oral hygiene in general. If the bacteria that inhabit your mouth multiply too fast and penetrate the enamel, they can lead to all sorts of dental diseases, including tooth decay and tooth abscesses.
Finally, as we’re reminded in the video, you should not chew really hard things (or show off by opening a beer with your teeth), because it can easily lead to damaging or breaking part of your tooth right off. You can split rocks, and you can split tooth enamel.
And since we’ve mentioned chewing, did you know that the way you chew depends on if you’re left-handed or right-handed? That’s right! If your good hand is your right hand, chances are that you chew mostly on the right side of your mouth.
Average time per brushing
On average, most people brush their teeth for 45 to 70 seconds…a day. However, the recommended time to brush your teeth is 2 to 3 minutes twice a day.
Brushing for 2 to 3 minutes might feel like too much, but it is absolutely essential. Proper brushing can make or break your oral health. Studies have shown that brushing less than 2 times a day and spending less than 2 minutes per brush is highly associated with plaque buildup and eventually tooth decay.
So, keep your smile and teeth white and healthy by devoting the proper time for brushing. If you are interested to learn how a healthy smile can actually transform your life, check out this post we wrote about how a smile can change your world.
Teeth can be worth a lot of money!
It’s unbelievable that so people have managed to make money by collecting or selling teeth during our history! According to FTD facts, in 1860, one tooth belonging to Sir Isaac Newton (don’t worry, this was after he was no longer alive) went on sale in London for £3,633. This amount is equal to $35,700 current-day U.S. dollars! Just for the record, Newton’s tooth was later used to decorate a ring.
The largest and strongest teeth in the world
A natural assumption to make is that large animals have the largest teeth. However, this is not entirely true. Some of the largest teeth in the world can be found on animals that don’t even eat meat! Some of these animals include the hippo and the saber-toothed deer (YES, you read that right)! Although these animals are not the largest in the world, their teeth are enormous, with a single hippo canine tooth reaching sixteen inches in length!
On the other hand, the sharpest and strongest teeth in the world go to the titan triggerfish. Their teeth are thin and have a human-tooth-like appearance, but they are really, really sharp. Titan triggerfish’s teeth have been created to chew coral reef rocks!
Finally, did you ever think there could be an animal that has more teeth than a crocodile or even a shark? Well, it’s true, and you’ll be surprised to read that this creature is actually… a snail! You’ve heard it! Cute little snails have about 25 thousand teeth. However, instead of chewing, snails use their teeth to grind foods up.
As you can see, teeth have some amazing properties and have been used in other funny, dark, and extraordinary ways throughout history beyond just chewing foods. Do you know any other amazing tooth truths we didn’t mention? Share your story with us on Facebook!