We have 32 teeth. Plaque is not our friend. On average, people spend 39 days of their life brushing their teeth. Did you know any of those facts? At South Charlotte Dentistry, we’re all about teeth! Our teeth are an essential part of our ability to function; we use them to eat, as tools, to speak and interact, and so much more. Teeth are super important and interesting, so why not know more about them?
Yellow teeth are usually a sign of decay, rather than staining.
If your teeth are yellow, it’s more likely from the wearing away of enamel and the naturally yellow dentine coming through. Staining typically occurs from consuming drinks like soda or tea, or the use of tobacco products. When the enamel starts to wear away, your yellow dentin begins to show more prominently.
On that note, teeth cannot repair themselves.
If teeth are chipped or lost, your body is unable to self-repair. Unlike other parts of your body like muscles and certain bones, your teeth are not alive. In fact, your teeth are not actually bones! They may be white and hard, but they are made up of entirely different materials than bones are. External intervention by a dentist is required to heal or fix a tooth.
Luckily, the enamel is the hardest part of your entire body!
Enamel is the outer layer of teeth, the hardest material in your body, and contains the highest percentage of minerals in your body, as well. But even as the hardest part of your body, it is subsequently brittle and susceptible to breaking. Because enamel can’t repair itself, dentists can treat decaying enamel with tooth decay removal, sealants, fillings, and more. Ultimately, we want to protect our enamel and reverse any tooth decay with great oral care (i.e. daily brushing, flossing, fluoride, and drinking lots of water).
Your teeth begin to develop at six weeks in utero.
As early as six weeks, a baby begins to develop teeth in the womb. You can actually tell a lot about the mother and the environment she was in during the pregnancy term (think: nutrition, pollution, disease) by examining a baby’s teeth. A baby’s teeth do not begin to come in until they are between six to twelve months old.
A toothbrush and floss aren’t the only weapons you have to protect your teeth.
Saliva is your body’s natural defendant against plaque. A toothbrush misses 35% of your tooth’s surface, so while flossing is very important, your saliva can also help break down any bad bacteria and plaque. When you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, you’re ensuring that your mouth is able to produce the right amount of saliva to fight off bacteria in the mouth.
Your mouth is home to 300 types of bacteria.
Before you worry about the high number of bacteria, know that most of the bacteria in your mouth are naturally occurring and actually work to prevent decay. Bacteria can live on the gums, teeth, tongue, and cheek. Daily brushing and flossing keep bad, unwanted bacteria at bay.
Teeth can appear in places beyond your mouth.
Teratomas are tumors that contain developed tissue, including teeth, hair, and bone. Teratomas form in the fetus and are seldom cancerous, meaning they can be removed and treated with little risk. While the condition can terrifyingly occur in anyone, teratomas are very rare, and it is extremely unlikely you have teeth-growing tumors in your body.
Teeth are an indicator of overall health.
Oral health is an indicator of your overall health. Just as your teeth can affect other organs in your body, problems in the rest of your body can also manifest in your mouth. For example, flat teeth and headaches are an indicator of grinding teeth at night, which is caused by stress. Or, suspicious sores in the mouth that won’t go away can also be a sign of oral cancer. From the mouth, we can find indicators of serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. It’s definitely important that you go to the dentist not only for your routine teeth cleaning but also to get an idea of how your oral and overall health is doing.
Your teeth are as unique as you!
Each and every one of your 32 teeth is unique to you! No two people have the same teeth – not even identical twins. Just like our DNA inherently makes us unique, our genes can also impact our grin. If gapped teeth or missing teeth run in your family, you can also get dental abnormalities passed down from your parents. Because our teeth are unique, they can also be used as identifiers. In forensic dentistry, scientists study human’s teeth to see who they were, what they did, what the climate or environment was like, or to identify remains.
We only get one set of adult teeth – so give them the best care possible at South Charlotte Dentistry!
South Charlotte Dentistry is committed to staying at the forefront of the latest research and providing our patients with both state-of-the-art dentistry and comprehensive dental education. Schedule a cleaning or check-up with your team at South Charlotte Dentistry today, and experience high quality services and dental treatments – plus, walk away learning even more about your teeth!