Closeup of a tooth next to a dental mirror against a blue background

Strange Dental Facts

February 27, 2021 4:47 pm
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In this blog post, we share some interesting tooth facts about ancient toothbrushes, tooth worms, and George Washington’s dentures!

Chew Sticks

Before the modern toothbrush, humans were already concerned with the state of their dental health. With few options available, early civilizations chewed on twigs to clean their teeth. These “chew sticks” date back as far as 3,500 BC.

Modern-day dental technology and tools empower patients to greatly reduce their risk of decay, cavities, bad breath, gum disease, and tooth loss. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. Additionally, remember to brush your tongue and to floss at least once a day.

Tooth Worms

In the olden days, people believed that toothaches were caused by worms that hunkered down within the teeth, eating away at the inside. When the pain subsided, the worm was thought to be resting.

Toothaches are actually caused by decay, cavities, and infection. Bacteria in your mouth eat your dietary sugar and produce acid byproducts that damage your enamel, the outer protective layer of your teeth. Decay is temporary weakening of your teeth. A cavity is a permanent hole. Daily brushing and flossing, a balanced diet, and routine dental visits can help fortify your enamel against damage.

Presidential Teeth

George Washington had famously troubled teeth. There’s a tale swirling around out there that the nation’s first president had wooden teeth. It’s a rumor–but you may find the truth about Washington’s teeth to be even stranger. By the time he became president, he was wearing a full set of dentures, made up of an array of materials, including ivory, metal, and human teeth. You can see a pair of his dentures on display at his former estate, Mount Vernon, in Virginia.

Today, dentures are comfortable and realistic-looking. They can be made of a combination of acrylic, nylon, porcelain, resin, and metal.

Visit Safari Children’s Dentistry & Braces!

Weird dental facts are fun to learn, but there’s not much fun about having strange teeth yourself. Our friendly team is here to help children of all ages maintain teeth that are clean, healthy, and problem-free! Contact us today to learn about our pediatric dental services or to schedule an appointment for your child at Safari Children’s Dentistry & Braces in San Antonio, TX!

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