Interesting Facts About Your Teeth

Your teeth are a vital part of your body and it is important that you know how to look after them and attend regular dental appointments so that your dentists can look out for the things that you can’t see. Did you know about these unusual facts?

Your Teeth Are Like Your Fingerprint

This is why dental records are sometimes used to identify people. Even identical twins have unique teeth.

Part Of Your Tooth Is Hidden

About a third of each of your tooth is underneath your gums. This is why it is just as important to take care of your gums.

Your Enamel Is The Hardest Part Of Your Body

The enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth. It’s primary purpose is to protect your teeth.

Your Mouth Contains Lots Of Bacteria

Your mouth is home to 300 types of bacteria. Plaque contains millions of bacteria. Some of this bacteria is responsible for converting sugar and other carbohydrates into the acids which eat away at your teeth.

Your Teeth Are The Only Part Of Your Body That Can’t Heal Itself

Your teeth are coated in enamel which is not a living tissue, so they can’t repair.


Before the toothpaste we use today was invented, around 100 years ago, humans used lots of different mixtures including crushed oyster shells, ground chalk, charcoal, pulverised brick, lemon juice and salt.

Everything You Need To Know About Wisdom Teeth

Thousands of years ago, when our jaws were wider and could accommodate our last molars, wisdom teeth allowed us to chew on tougher foods. Overtime we have developed smaller jaws which means there is less room for them to erupt.

When Do Wisdom Teeth Come In?

Wisdom teeth are the last of the permanent teeth to erupt. For most people, they will begin to appear between the ages of 19 and 20.

However, your wisdom teeth start growing between the ages or 7 and 10. The process takes years and is unique:

  • The tooth calcifies
  • The crown begins to form
  • The root develops
  • The teeth emerge through the gums

Signs Of Eruption

It is likely that you will experience some pain and discomfort when your wisdom teeth start to erupt. If you do experience some pain, over the counter painkillers or using warm salt water to rinse your mouth should help.

Some people will have no wisdom teeth at all or they never fully erupt. Some may experience some problems, usually between the ages of 17 and 25, including lingering pain, gum swelling or pressure in back jaw.

Why Might I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removing?

  • For preventative measures, so your mouth isn’t overcrowded, leading to plaque build up, decay or gum disease. Food and bacteria get trapped around the edge of the wisdom teeth causing build up of plaque.
  • The tooth is unable to break through the gums and has become impacted, leading to increased pain, swelling and infection.

When To See A Dentist

If you are attending your dentist regularly, they will be checking for the progress of your wisdom teeth should they need removal. However, if your wisdom teeth are causing you severe pain you should make an appointment, don’t wait until your next check up. Your dentist will check your teeth and likely take an x-ray to decide whether they need to be removed.

If you are concerned about your wisdom teeth, please call us on 01723 670500 to book an appointment with one of our dentists.

The History Of Dentures

Ivory Dentures with Human Teeth

Now a days it is quite easy to get a replacement for a missing tooth, but not too far in the past, people would would go to extreme measures to try and replace their teeth.

The First Dentures

The Ancient Egyptians were the first to use dentures in 1500 BC. They were made from human teeth threaded together with gold wire. In 700 BC Italians began using animal teeth to replace their own. Tribes in Mexico also did this, using wolf teeth. Ancient Mayans even replaced missing teeth with carved stones, bits of bone or even seashells. These materials worked well because they would fuse with the patient’s jaw bone for a permanent fix.

Wooden Dentures

Wooden dentures were common in japan from the 16th century. A priestess who lived in the Kii Province wore the first wooden teeth. This style of denture was used up until the 19th century. However, they weren’t the common option in the western world.

Ivory Dentures

George Washington wore ivory dentures made from hippopotamus tusks. Many people wore ivory dentures made from walrus, hippo or elephant tusks. However the material deteriorated quickly and stained yellow promptly. These types of dentures were still being worn in the early 19th century.

Human Teeth

In the 1800s, sugar consumption increased rapidly in Europe, especially England. This led to lots of people losing their teeth by the time they were 50, needing a way to replace them. French Physician Pierre Fauchard is known as the father of modern dentistry after publishing a book called ‘The Surgeon Dentist’ which included dental care practices that are still followed to this day. Shockingly, the teeth from soldiers who died in the Battle of Waterloo were used as replacements. Teeth were removed from cadavers and mounted onto an ivory base. These teeth were very popular among the elite and were seen as a sign of wealth.

Porcelain Dentures

The first pair of porcelain dentures were produced in 1744 by a British physician. However, they looked unnaturally white and they were very fragile. In 1820 porcelain teeth were mounted onto gold plates with springs and swivels which allowed the teeth to work more efficiently.

Vulcanite Dentures

In the 1850s, vulcanite was used to make dentures. Vulcanite is a type of hardened rubber. It is cheap meaning that dentures became available to people who could not afford them in the past. For the first time ever, middle class people could wear false teeth along with the rich and wealthy.

Modern Dentures

In the 20th century, acrylic and rubber compounds were used in the development of false teeth. Modern dentures are made from a blend of acrylic resin, metal and sometimes porcelain. Due to the improved quality of dental hygiene advice, the need for dentures has decreased.

Famous Figures From The Past

Centuries ago, the only people that could afford dentures were the rich and wealthy. Here are some examples of wealthy figures who used to wear dentures.

George Washington

Contrary to the common legend, George Washington’s teeth were actually made from ivory, not wood. Washington suffered from poor dental health throughout his life, caused by many elements including a poorly balanced diet and disease. Due to this, he involved the help of Dr John Baker to fashion his false teeth from ivory that was wired to his last remaining teeth.

When Washington was inaugurated President, he only had one tooth remaining. Dr John Greenwood made an advanced set of dentures made from hippopotamus ivory and using gold wire springs and brass screws to hold the teeth in place. He even left a hole to accommodate Washington’s final tooth.

Queen Elizabeth

Before dental prevention practices were used, problematic teeth were extracted left and right. During Queen Elizabeth’s reign from 1558-1603, ivory dentures hadn’t been developed. Her only solution was to stuff bits of cloth into the gaps in her teeth when attending public events.

How To Effectively Floss Your Teeth

There are multiple choices of floss you can use, whether that is the floss picks or satin floss tape.

Key Flossing Technique

  • Make sure that you are using enough floss. Use a length of about 45cm. This may sound like a lot but you need to make sure you have enough to have a clean segment to use on each tooth. Wrap a large a large section of the floss around your middle finger on one hand and then a small section around the middle finger of your other hand. This keeps your index finger free to manipulate the floss around your mouth.
  • Keep a one to two inch length of floss taut between fingers and use your index fingers to guide floss between contacts of the lower teeth.
  • Gently slide the floss between the teeth in a zigzag motion. Contour the floss around the side of the tooth. Slide the floss up and down and below the gumline. Floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss.
  • Make a ‘C’ shape with the floss as it moves around the tooth. Then carefully pull the floss upward from the gum line.
  • As you move around your mouth, unroll a fresh section of floss.
  • Don’t forget to floss each side of each tooth.

Whether you use floss or interdental brushes, it is important that you clean in between your teeth to prevent the buildup of plaque. This will help to prevent the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.