In a bid to draw attention to World Oral Health Day this March the UK’s leading dental charity, the Oral Health Foundation published a set of interesting oral statistics and some bizarre teeth facts. Did you know for example that if a person follows brushing guidelines then they’ll spend as much time brushing their teeth in a lifetime as playing 1,487 rugby matches or that the average person produces 5000 gallons of saliva?
In order to support the charity, we did a bit of research and found some bizarre facts of our own, so in no particular order:
- The Norwegians have a tooth bank with more than 20,000 teeth which they are using to study how environmental factors can affect the health of children and their mothers.
- In 2011 John Lennon’s ex-housekeeper, Dot Jartlett sold one of his molars for over $30,000. It gets even more bizarre though when you learn that the buyer is using the tooth to sequence Lennon’s DNA with a view to cloning him at some point.
- Before modern dentistry, if you needed a problem tooth sorting out then you’d go to the barbers or more worryingly, the blacksmith. It certainly puts any fear of going to the dentist in perspective.
- We’re not the only animals to have more than one set of teeth during our lifetime. Sharks have up to 40!
- How times have changed: compare Donald Trump’s gleaming choppers with George Washington, who at the time of his inauguration only had one real tooth. The rest were made from wood.
- Although it sounds like an old wives’ tale you can actually preserve a knocked out tooth by putting it in milk and then holding it in your mouth until you can get to a dentist.
A true statistic and shocking fact to end on. Last year more than 40,000 children had teeth removed in hospital due to tooth decay and recent figures released by the Royal College of Surgeons show that there has been a 24% increase since 2006-07.