You rely on your teeth in order to eat, speak, and smile. Even though you brush them twice and floss once every day, you probably don’t think about them all that often. There may be a lot of things that you don’t already know about them. As dental care has become more advanced, so has our knowledge of your smile. Continue reading to learn some interesting facts about your smile from your dentist in Casper.
Your Teeth Are Like Fingerprints
No two dental records are exactly the same. That’s why they are sometimes used to solve crimes and even identify human remains. Even if you have an identical twin, your smiles aren’t quite the same. Your tongue also has a unique print that no one else has.
The Enamel Is Your Strongest Body Part
The protective outer layer of your teeth is known as the enamel. It is mostly made from calcium and phosphate, just like your bones. However, your tooth enamel is even stronger than your bones because of the specific proteins and crystallites that form it.
Your Mouth Houses a Lot of Bacteria
The plaque that forms on your teeth contains millions of bacteria made up of approximately 200 to 300 different species. Most of the time, it’s Streptococcus mutans that is responsible for poor dental health. This is because it converts sugar into acids which eat away at the teeth.
The Mouth Produces Plenty of Saliva
Each day, the average mouth produces about a quart of saliva, which adds up to approximately 10,000 gallons over a lifetime. Saliva is crucial for good oral health because it washes away lingering food particles and neutralizes the acids in plaque that cause damage and decay.
You Have 32 Teeth
If you haven’t lost any adult teeth or had them extracted, then they should add up to 32. This includes eight incisors, four canines, eight premolars, and 12 molars.
You Only See the Tip of the Iceberg
Your teeth are like icebergs in the sense that you cannot see the whole thing. About one third of your tooth is underneath the gums. This is why gum health is so important. They should always be pink and firm.
The Enamel Doesn’t Grow
That’s right – the enamel you have right now is all that you will ever have. The next layer of your tooth, the dentin, grows and changes throughout your life. Be sure that you are taking the steps needed to preserve your one and only enamel.
The mouth is a more interesting and complex place than you may think. By keeping up a good oral hygiene routine and seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups, you can make sure that your smile is thriving.
About the Author
Dr. Erin M. Prach earned her dental degree from the University of Colorado’s School of Dental Medicine before opening her practice in Casper, WY. Since graduating, she has continued to further her education, including studying oral surgery while on a mission trip to Guatemala. For more interesting information about your smile or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Prach, visit her website or call (307) 337-4770.