Interesting Dental Facts

Are cavities contagious?

Yes, in a way. The bacteria that causes cavities, Streptococcus mutans, is transmissable from one person to another. This means that the saliva of someone with this bacteria can pass it along to someone else. Here are some of the ways this bacteria can be passed to babies and children:

  • Cleaning a pacifier with your mouth
  • Using your mouth to test the temperature of a baby’s bottle
  • Sharing utensils, straws or cups

Did people get cavities in prehistoric times?

According to experts, most likely not, because sugars and grains weren’t a common part of their diet.

How did ancient cultures clean their teeth?

Many cultures would chew on tree bark or sticks to clean their teeth and ancient Egyptians made a paste from ox hooves and ground eggshells to clean their teeth.

When did brushing teeth become common?

While people have been cleaning their teeth for centuries, daily teeth brushing didn’t become regular practice in America until after WWII. The first toothbrush was developed for mass production and distribution in 1938, but only after the war did America adopt the practice of daily brushing.

Can teeth repair themselves?

No, unlike our bones, muscle and skin, teeth are not able to self-repair which is why getting fillings and other dental work is necessary to protect teeth from further damage and maintain the integrity of your natural tooth.

How much saliva does an average person make?

Humans make between 2 and 4 pints of saliva per day and and around 53 bathtubs full in a lifetime. Saliva contains electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds, and enzymes that help digest food and mutans streptococcus bacteria (for those who have cavities)!

How hard is tooth enamel?

Tooth enamel is harder than steel. It is the hardest substance in your body, even harder than bone. Damage that occurs to the enamel is the result of a process that takes time. Decay slowly eats away at the enamel because it is so hard and can withstand so much. Untreated decay will eventually result in pain and possible tooth loss. The best way to prevent this is with regular dental check ups and cleanings. Make your appointment today at our Carrollwood or Wesley Chapel dental office!

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