Interesting Trivia about Teeth and Dentists

DentistsDid you know that some cultures though black teeth are beautiful? The Japanese royalty, in particular, used black lacquer to cover their teeth. That probably makes you feel a little silly about being self-conscious of that slight stain on your front teeth.

Of course, Soho dentists say, black teeth are no longer in fashion, but many interesting facts still abound about dentists.


  • The first toothpaste was a paste of myrrh, pumice, burned eggshells, ad oxen hooves. The Ancient Egyptians used it to make their smile sparkle. The next time you run out of toothpaste, you know what to do!
  • Early toothbrushes used the bristles from animals. China used prickly hairs of badgers, horses, and hogs.
  • The modern toothbrush using nylon bristles came out in 1938.
  • The first TV commercial in the UK aired in September 1955. It was for toothpaste.


  • A knocked out tooth starts dying in 15 minutes. However, if you put it in milk or keep it in your mouth, your dentist might be able to put it back. Do not swallow!
  • Humans have 32 teeth, while cats and dogs have 42 and 30, respectively. The shark has an impressive set of 300 razor-sharp teeth that have backups when they lose a tooth. However, that is nothing compared to a snail. The snail has about 25,000, and all on its tongue!
  • A monk-dentist in Rome kept all the teeth he ever extracted from patients. After 40 years, he collected more than 2 million teeth.
  • An adult elephant molar weighs about 10 pounds each, and measures about one foot across.
  • Each human has a unique set of teeth, like fingerprints. Even identical twins are distinguishable by their teeth.
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Dental Care

  • Germans in medieval times believed kissing a donkey would cure a toothache. The ancient Greeks, on the other hand, used donkey’s milk as a mouthwash to strengthen the teeth and gums. Ee-haw!
  • A medieval method of whitening teeth was by filing it down and bathing it in nitric acid. The teeth turned black soon after with decay.
  • Prehistoric kids did not have tooth decay because sugar was not part of their diet.
  • Some commercial ‘healthy’ fruit juices contain more sugar than soda.

Teeth are a fascinating subject and are associated with some of the weird and funny developments in human history. Dentists, by association, can be equally interesting. Visit your dentist regularly and regale them with these facts.