Amazing facts about teeth

Add a fun twist to the topic of dental care with these kid-friendly facts!

Nothing piques a kid’s interest in a subject quite like fun facts and quirky trivia. Take advantage of this by sharing dental facts about teeth with your kids. This is a great way to get them engaged with learning about oral health and opens up a conversation about why caring for their teeth is so important.

Here are 10 of our favorite teeth-related facts that you can tell your kids about.

1. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body!

Ask your kids what part of their body is the strongest. Many kids guess bones, but actually tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and stronger than bone.

Tooth enamel is made up of 96% mineral, which is a combination of calcium and phosphate ions that combine to make hydroxyapatite crystals. Teeth can actually last for hundreds to thousands of years. In fact, 80,000-year-old teeth showed historians that the first humans that left Africa went to China.

2. Speaking of strength, the average person has a bite force of 162 pounds per square inch.

Human bite force strength ranges widely, from less than 120PSI to well over 275PSI, but most adults will hover between the 150 to 170 range. Achieving a strong bite has to do with a mix of genetics, teeth health, and jaw musculature.

Look up the bite force of your kids’ favorite animals and see who has the strongest jaws. You can even find very interesting videos on YouTube of bite force tests being done with alligators, bears, and big cats.

3. All 20 of a baby’s primary teeth are already in their jaw at birth.

Many people don’t realize that babies are born with all of their primary teeth already in their jaw. You can find fascinating images and x-rays of this online if you or your kids would like to see what this looks like under the surface.

4. Every person’s teeth are unique to them, just like fingerprints.

Most kids discover the uniqueness of their fingerprints at a young age, but many don’t know that their teeth are just as special to them. From natural tooth color to size, shape, and alignments, every smile is different from the next.

You and your kids can take a close look at each other’s smile and see how they look different. Biting into an apple can also show them how their teeth alignment is different between one another.

5. Kids spend close to half a million dollars on chewing gum every year in the US.

Kids love bubblegum, but despite gum often being labeled as candy, it isn’t always a bad thing.

Sugar-free xylitol bubblegum and minty chewing gum can actually prevent cavities from forming. Chewing a piece after meals is a nice treat for kids and is a useful way of cleaning teeth in between brushing or flossing. Check out this link to find ADA-recommended chewing gum brands.

6. You’ll make about 25,000 liters of spit in your lifetime.

To put that into perspective, you’ll produce enough saliva to fill about two swimming pools! Saliva is actually a really important part of oral health. Healthy levels of saliva in the mouth keep the teeth clean and help prevent cavities and gum disease from forming. Saliva even has natural antimicrobial properties.

7. People who drink three or more glasses of soda each day have 62% more tooth decay than others.

Tooth decay leads to bad breath, fillings, and even tooth loss. Soda, sports drinks, and juices are really tasty, but remind kids that the sugar in these drinks leads to cavity-causing ‘sugar bugs’ in their teeth and should be avoided.

Colorful water bottles and sugar-free flavored waters are a great way to get kids to stay hydrated.

8. People are more likely to purchase a blue toothbrush than a red one.

What’s your kids’ favorite color? If they had to choose between a blue or a red toothbrush, which one would they pick?

Don’t forget that if they’ve had their current toothbrush for three months or more, it’s time for a replacement. This is a great chance to let them pick out a fun new color or character-themed toothbrush.

9. The blue whale doesn’t have teeth, but the tiny snails in your garden can have thousands!

Blue whales may be huge but because their diet consists of tiny krill, they have baleen instead of teeth. On the opposite end of the spectrum are snails, which can have anywhere from 1,000 to 25,000 teeth!

See if your kids can guess how many teeth their favorite animal has.

10. The average American spends 38.5 total days brushing their teeth over a lifetime.

It’s crazy to think that you’ll spend about 924 hours brushing and flossing your teeth during your life! See if your kids can guess how many hours/days they’ll spend brushing and see how close they are to the right answer.

This fact also brings up the opportunity to remind your kids that it’s important to brush for at least two minutes twice a day.

Encourage your kids to tell us their favorite facts about teeth during their next appointment at Must Love Kids!

There’s nothing the Must Love Kids team enjoys more than seeing our young patients interested in their oral health. Ask your kids which teeth facts they really liked and encourage them to share it with Dr. G or Dr. Mo during their next dental appointment. This is an especially great way of helping nervous kids feel more confident to speak with their dentist!

If you haven’t yet booked your kids’ next visits, give our office a call or fill out our online appointment request form.