25 Bizarre Facts About Teeth That Are Actually True

Posted by , Updated on March 25, 2024

Our teeth are with us for our entire lives … well, depending on your hygiene. However, we often don’t pay them much attention unless we’re cleaning them or if there’s something wrong with them.

Today we’ll take a look at some of the lesser-known facts about teeth. These are 25 Bizarre Facts About Teeth That Are Actually True.



Your Dominant Hand is Also Your Dominant Chewing Side


Typically, if you’re right-handed, you’ll tend to chew on your right side. If you are left-handed, your dominant chewing side will likely be on the left.


Teeth Are Stronger Than Bones


Some people believe that bones are the strongest part of the human anatomy, but the tooth enamel on the exterior of teeth is actually the strongest and most durable part of the body.


Most of the Tooth Isn’t Visible


Two-thirds of the tooth is actually underneath the gums. Only one-third of the tooth is visible.


"Just Brushing" Misses 40% of Your Teeth


Brushing your teeth only cleans 60% of your teeth. The other 40% is covered by flossing your teeth. Yes, it is important to floss.


Roman Toothpaste


Before toothpaste was invented, Romans used to make a paste out of broken eggshells, bones, ox hooves, and ashes.

Sounds safe.


Teeth Start Forming in the Womb


Yep. Even though they don’t show up until later, your teeth are there from the time you are born. They are waiting, in the gums, for their time to shine.


Teeth Are Like Fingerprints


No two teeth are alike. Everyone’s teeth are unique to the individual, just like fingerprints.

In fact, just as with fingerprints, teeth can be used to identify a person. It’s one of the reasons people use dental records to identify human remains.


Cheese Protects Teeth


Cheese provides a protective layer, which neutralizes the acid in plaque. 

I wonder if it would work to ditch the toothpaste and just throw some cheese whiz on that toothbrush.


Twigs for a Toothbrush


That’s right, before the wonder of modern hygiene, people would clean their teeth with twigs. Hopefully, the twigs were clean.


Roman Mouthrinse


Hey, let’s go back to Rome. 

People used to use sterile urine as a mouth rinse in Roman times. Ah, Rome. So clean.


Greens Prevent Staining


Apparently, eating a leafy salad or steamed vegetables before eating a full meal can prevent staining on your teeth. Or maybe this is just what parents say to get their kids to eat those veggies.


Toothache Remedy of the Middle Ages


During the Middle Ages, people would kiss donkeys to relieve toothaches. “Experts” believed that this was a sure-fire way to stop toothaches.


Before the Tooth Fairy


Before the Tooth Fairy gave money to children for their teeth, children in England and Australia would drop their baby teeth into a mouse hole in the hopes that it would prevent toothaches.


Aggravated Tooth Assault


When you bite someone with your natural teeth, it’s considered a simple assault in Louisiana. However, if you bite them with false teeth, it’s actually considered aggravated assault.


George Washington’s Teeth Weren’t Wooden


While it’s a popular myth that the president of the U.S. had wooden teeth, it holds no truth. 

Washington’s teeth were actually made of gold, ivory, lead, and a mixture of human, donkey, and hippopotamus teeth.


Romans Placed Caps on Teeth


Okay, I’ve ragged on the Romans a few times throughout this list, but let’s look at some good Roman dental practices. 

The Romans used impressive dental technology for their time. They fixed cavity-ridden teeth with gold crowns.


Plaque Contains 300 Species of Bacteria


It’s true. Plaque contains, on average, 300 species of bacteria. So, you know, brush those teeth, people.


Soda Accelerates Tooth Decay


Drinking three or more glasses of soda a day contributes to 62% more tooth decay, fillings, and tooth loss. Drink water instead.


78% of Young People Have Cavities


By the age of 17, 78% of Americans have had at least one cavity. Floss those teeth, people!


Giraffes Don’t Have Upper Teeth


Like us, giraffes have 32 teeth. Unlike us, their teeth are all on the bottom of their jaws.


We Spend 38.5 Days Brushing Teeth in a Lifetime


Over the course of our lifetime, we spend an average of 38.5 days brushing our teeth. It sounds like a lot of time when it’s put that way.


The Average Person Brushes for 45 Seconds a Day


On average, we only brush our teeth for 45 to 70 seconds a day. However, it’s recommended that you brush your teeth for two to three minutes a day.


1800s Dentists


Back in the 1800s, barbers and blacksmiths also acted as dentists. In fact, because barbers would pull teeth, they were called “barber-surgeons.”


Protection From Vomit


Before we vomit, our mouth produces an excessive amount of saliva to protect our teeth from the acid that our vomit has. 

You should still brush your teeth afterward, though.


Saving a Knocked-Out Tooth


If one of your teeth are knocked out, you can save the tooth if you jam it back in your gum within five minutes of it falling out.

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