You probably don’t think about your teeth very often, but they are actually pretty awesome. Although you know they are necessary for biting and chewing, there are several facts about your teeth you may not realize. Your dentist in Upper Arlington has 6 interesting tidbits about your smile.
1. Your teeth are unique.
You’ve likely heard everyone has different fingerprints, but did you know the same can be said about your teeth? Even identical twins have different teeth, which is why dental records are often used to identify human remains. Besides your teeth, your tongue also has its own specific print.
2. You can’t see your entire tooth.
Your teeth are kind of like icebergs because only about two-thirds of each tooth is visible, which is why your gum health is important. Healthy gums should be pink in color and firm to ensure your teeth have the support they need to stay in place.
3. Your enamel is the hardest substance in your body.
Your teeth are composed of 3 layers: enamel, dentin, and pulp. The hard outer layer you see when you look in the mirror is your enamel. It is made mostly of phosphate and calcium, which also help your bones stay strong and healthy. Your enamel is stronger than your bones because it also has specific proteins and crystallites.
4. Your enamel isn’t invincible.
Although your enamel is the hardest part of your body, it isn’t indestructible. The biggest threats to your enamel are chips, cracks, and decay, which can leave the underlying layers vulnerable to bacteria and infection. If any enamel is lost, it can’t regenerate like other tissues in your body. You can help safeguard your smile by maintaining your oral hygiene at home, visiting your dentist regularly, and limiting your consumption of sugary foods and drinks.
5. Your dentin continues to grow.
Unlike your enamel, your dentin will continue to grow. It contains various small channels and pathways that allow nerve signals and nutrients to pass through the tooth. Your dentin also differs from your enamel because there are three types: primary, secondary, and reparative. Your dentin will continue to change throughout your life.
6. There are over 300 types of bacteria in your mouth.
Your mouth is home to 200 to 300 different species of bacteria. While the thought might make you cringe, not all bacteria are bad. Some species are crucial for a healthy smile, but Streptococcus mutans can cause dental problems because it converts sugar and carbohydrates to acid that can erode your enamel.
Keep Your Smile Healthy
You can ensure your amazing smile thrives for a lifetime by caring for your teeth and gums at home and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
About Dr. Angela Courtney
Dr. Courtney earned her dental degree and continued her training at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, focusing on neuromuscular dentistry. She has a track record of success in treating complex oral health issues. If it’s time for your next dental appointment, contact our office today.