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There’s a lot more to your teeth than meets the eye! Don’t believe us? Just check out these ten fascinating facts about your teeth that you may not already know.

1. Your enamel is the hardest substance in your body.

Believe it or not, your teeth are actually the hardest bones in your body. The dental enamel—or the white outer layer of the tooth—is made of calcium and phosphate (like the rest of your bones), but it also is made stronger by the proteins that form it. Because of your strong dental enamel, your teeth remain intact even as you chew tough foods.

2. Your teeth are hidden beneath the surface.

There is a reason that keeping your gums healthy is so important. About one-third of each tooth is actually hidden beneath the surface of your gums. This allows your teeth to remain sturdy. Therefore, to ensure your teeth remain in good condition, your gums should always be firm and pink in color.

3. You already have teeth at the time of your birth.

Even though most babies begin their life with a gummy smile, that does not necessarily mean they do not have teeth. Every baby has teeth already formed beneath the surface of their gums called “milk teeth.” These teeth will eventually break through the surface of their gums during the teething phase.

4. Your teeth have an important layer beneath the enamel called dentin.

The dentin layer within your tooth continues to grow throughout your entire life. It is filled with microscopic tunnels that give nutrients and nerve signals access to all parts of the tooth. This layer of your tooth is also harder than your bones.

5. Humans have four different kinds of teeth.

Because humans are omnivores—meaning they eat both vegetation and meat—we have evolved to have four different kinds of teeth. Our incisors, premolars, molars, and canine teeth allow us to eat the wide array of foods we have available to us today. Each tooth serves a different purpose, such as tearing apart tough foods, grinding food, and cutting or mashing.

6. You will spend more than a month of your life brushing your teeth.

If most people added together all of the time they spent brushing their teeth, it would amount to be around 38 days! And while this may seem like a lot, the time spent is definitely worth it. A solid brushing routine can help to prevent a number of oral health issues, including gum disease, tooth decay, and more.

7. Your teeth are just like your fingerprint.

Did you know that your teeth are completely unique to you? Even identical twins do not have the same teeth. This is why dental records can also be used to identify people. You might also be surprised to learn that you have a unique “tongue print” as well!

8. Toothpaste is a relatively recent invention.

Toothpaste hasn’t always been around to facilitate good oral health. A century ago, you would have found that most people used lemon juice, chalk, or even tobacco to brush their teeth. This is one of the many reasons that dental hygiene was not nearly at the same standard as it is today.

9. You make about 10,000 gallons of saliva in your lifetime.

Saliva plays an important role in maintaining your health. It helps you break down your food, washes away food particles, and neutralizes acids in bacteria that can lead to decay or infection. This is why your body produces about one quart of saliva per day, which adds up to 10,000 gallons in a lifetime!

10. Your mouth contains 300 species of bacteria.

Plaque is a collection of millions of bacteria that naturally forms on your teeth. You can find up to 300 different species of bacteria in plaque, including ones that feed on the sugars in your diet to produce harmful acids that break down your dental enamel.

To take good care of your teeth, don’t forget to schedule a routine dental check-up every six months. Call Countryside Dental to book your appointment today!