Just for fun, we have assembled a list of fun facts about dentistry and orthodontics which you probably never knew:
- Straight teeth have always been important to people. Rudimentary braces made of catgut and metal have been found in Egyptian mummies.
- The spinner dolphin has more teeth than any other animal, up to 252 teeth. Compare that to people who have only 32 teeth as adults.
- Siwak sticks, also called miswak, are a precursor to the toothbrush. They have been used for thousands of years and are still used today in parts of the Middle East and Africa. Siwak sticks are twigs from the arak tree, which fray into bristles when you chew on them and which you can then use to brush your teeth.
- Dental disease has been with humans since prehistoric times, but the incidence of cavities increased dramatically in Europe in the 1600’s when imported sugar became part of the diet.
- Bears, who have a large appetite for honey, are the only non-domesticated animal that gets cavities.
- Contrary to popular belief, George Washington never had wooden false teeth. He did have dental problems all his life, however, and for a time wore partial dentures made of ivory.
- As of 2011, there are 193,000 professionally active dentists in the United States, according to the American Dental Association. People who live in the District of Columbia have a wealth of dentists from which to choose, because the city has the most dentists per capita in the United States. The state with the least dentists per capita is Arkansas.
- As of 2012, there are 5,530 orthodontists in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.