Did you know the oldest human DNA ever discovered dates to about 800,000 years ago? That DNA, in turn, came from none other than the tooth of an archaic group of humans.
That should tell you how incredible and long-lasting human teeth can be.
However, that’s only one of the fascinating facts about the pearly whites of humans. We compiled some of the other incredible things you should know about the teeth, so be sure to read on.
1. Adults Have 1.6 Times More Teeth Than Children
Children only have 20 primary teeth, also known as baby teeth or milk teeth. The upper and lower arches each have a set of four incisors, two canines, two premolars, and two molars. All these usually erupt or come in by the time kids reach the age of three.
On the other hand, the average adult has 32 permanent teeth, 16 on each arch. Like children, they have four incisors and two canines on each arch.
However, adults have two extra premolars (for a total of four) on each arch. In addition, each arch also has four additional molars (for a total of six).
2. Fluoridated Water Helps Keeps Your Teeth Decay-Free
Water fluoridation is one of the 20th century’s greatest public health achievements. The main reason is that it helped decrease dental cavities among folks in the US. According to experts, drinking fluoridated water can reduce tooth decay by as much as 25%.
3. Your Pearly Whites Can Be as Hard as Steel
That hardness is all thanks to the enamel, the outermost layer of the teeth. It’s mostly hydroxyapatite, a mineral that belongs to the apatite group of minerals. Apatite scores a five on the Mohs hardness scale, the same as many forms of steel.
4. As Hard as the Teeth Are, They’re as Brittle as Glass
While enamel makes the teeth super hard, it’s also why the teeth are as brittle as glass. Fortunately, the teeth can stop cracks from growing longer and bigger, unlike glass.
Still, that doesn’t mean your pearly whites are impervious to damages. They can still develop decay seeing as the mouth is home to hundreds of bacterial species. If these pathogens make their way into the cracks, they can start eating away at the enamel.
5. Cracked Teeth Are Still Restorable
If you go to the dentist early enough, you might only need a simple filling for a minor cracked tooth. If the damage is a bit bigger, you may be better off with dental laminates or veneers. However, you may already need dental crowns for more significant tooth breakage.
The most important thing is never to delay getting your cracked or chipped tooth fixed. Otherwise, harmful microbes in the mouth can invade and make the damage even worse.
Make Your Pearly Whites Last for a Lifetime
If teeth from 800,000 years ago lasted up to now, there’s no doubt you can make yours last for a lifetime, too. Even the American Dental Association says that aging doesn’t equate to tooth loss. So, it’s not true that you’ll lose your teeth inevitably as you get older.
However, you need to take care of your teeth, starting with regular flossing and brushing.
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