10 Wild and Wacky Facts About Dentistry For Kids
Kids like weird facts. It’s a fact.
Spring Break is approaching and soon school will be out for summer! Any school break means more downtime for kids or family travel. So whether you plan to pack up in the van and go on an adventure vacation style or lounge around at home, your kids will be looking for some extra entertainment. We know you might feel the pressure to create entertaining, educational, and fun experiences for your kids, so let us help you with that! Gather your kids and check out these wild and wacky facts about dentistry. Then talk to your kids about them and see where the conversation, and their imagination, leads you.
Before you begin, here’s a bonus kids fact, just for you: Did you know that after dental school, a pediatric dentist is required to complete two additional years of training specifically on dentistry for infants, children, teens, and kids with special needs? That’s a lot of knowledge and information that your child’s dentist has and employs at every dental visit. It’s what makes Pediatric Dental Specialists special. With our highly trained and friendly team, you know your children are getting the best care here in a fun and supportive environment.
1. Brushing your teeth only cleans about 70% of teeth.
Cavities and gum disease develop when plaque builds up along the gum line. Cleaning between your teeth with dental floss removes plaque from the areas a toothbrush can’t reach. The American Dental Society and Pediatric Dental Specialists recommend flossing once per day as part of a good oral health routine in addition to brushing twice daily and regular dental cleanings. Imagine if you cleaned 70% of your dinner dishes, or 70% of your clothes, or 70% of your dirty dog—dirt and grime would build up quickly! So while you may not be able to see the dirt on your teeth as well as you can the dirt on your dog, it’s still there, so clean it regularly and thoroughly!
2. Tooth decay is the second most common disease in the United States after the common cold.
Tooth decay, or cavities, is the result of a breakdown of tooth enamel caused by plaque buildup. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cavities are the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11 years old, even though it’s largely preventable. Pediatric Dental Specialists is passionate about teaching good prevention techniques and oral health habits so parents can help their kids have a lifetime of healthy smiles.
3. Chewing gum was first introduced to America by Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.
(I told you these facts would impress your kids!) Antonia Lopez de Santa Anna was the president of Mexico who fought Davy Crockett and his Texas comrades in the battle of the Alamo. His version of chewing gum was chicle, the latex sap from the sapodilla tree. The American Dental Association reports that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals can help prevent tooth decay. Chewing gum shouldn’t replace brushing and flossing, but it is helpful in conjunction with a good oral health routine. So find your favorite flavor of sugarless gum and chew on! What’s your favorite flavor? We think tree sap should be a flavor to honor the original chewing gum. Would you chew that?
4. Queen Elizabeth I brushed her teeth with sugar.
Sugar causes cavities is common knowledge now. But it wasn’t always so. In fact, sugar used to be a food that only the wealthy could afford to consume. Reportedly, Queen Elizabeth I consumed an excessive amount of sugar regularly, and she even brushed her teeth with sugar paste or honey. This is what caused her terrible tooth decay.
5. Lucy Hobbs was the first woman in the world to earn a doctor of dental surgery (D.D.S.).
She earned her degree in 1866 from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in Cincinnati, Ohio. My how the world has changed since then!
6. The most popular toothbrush color is blue.
Hey kids, it’s a fact! But are you among those with a blue toothbrush? Take a look around and see if this little fact is true in your household. What color is your toothbrush and why did you pick it? What color was your last toothbrush? What about the others in your home? Does anyone have a blue toothbrush?
7. Toothpaste used to only come in one flavor, mint.
But now there are many varieties of flavors. Although, we’re not sure we want to try any of these wacky flavors like bacon, curry or octopus, switching things up to cinnamon is a nice option.
8. Every tooth in your mouth is unique.
It’s true, each tooth is like a fingerprint in that is has its own unique size and shape and pattern. Teeth vary widely from person to person. This is why people can be identified by their dental impression.
9. Irene Newman was the first person to become a trained dental hygienist in 1905.
Like nursing, dental hygienist roles have historically been filled by more women than men. Kids, check out some other cool facts and a timeline of dental hygiene here.
10. In 5000 BC, a Sumerian text describes “tooth worms” as the cause of dental decay.
Now we know it’s not tooth worms but food and bacteria that is a cause of cavities. Check out these other ancient facts about dentistry.
Dentistry sure has come a long way since ancient practices! Can you imagine if we hadn’t discovered that sugar causes cavities or that flossing your teeth is a smart oral health habit? While kids may not think much about teeth other than they know they’re supposed to brush them, it’s interesting to learn about the wild and wacky historical facts of dentistry. And hey, maybe it’ll get your kids more interested in brushing or maybe they’ll become the next dental professional to join our wonderful team!