Top 7 fun facts about dental health

February 04, 2016

Learn-how-apples-benefit-your-smile-and-more-fun-dental-facts_2020_40106903_0_14076312_650.jpgSure, serious matters like proper oral hygiene and finding affordable dental care are important for maintaining your smile and overall well-being, but components of dental health are also quite interesting, too! Discover these top seven fun facts:

1. Frowning requires more work than smiling
According to the British Dental Health Foundation, we use 43 muscles when frowning but only 17 when smiling. It's as if your body was designed to flash those pearly whites! Make sure you floss once and brush twice each day for two minutes at a time to ensure your teeth are clean when you grin.

Women holding vegetables and smiling.
Frowning requires more energy, so smile instead!

2. Celery is a natural toothbrush
Along with carrots, apples and other crunchy and nutritious foods, celery acts like a natural toothbrush, cleaning your teeth with every bite. How? These fruits and vegetables are abrasive and scrape your enamel while you bite and chew. Through this process, they wipe off plaque and small food particles. However, eating veggies should not replace regular teeth brushing!

3. Chewing gum is good for your oral health
This is only true if you're chomping on sugar-free gum. According to the American Dental Hygienists' Association, this treat helps pick up debris (like small remnants of dinner) from between your teeth and can increase saliva production. Saliva is important for helping you speak and swallow, and it also prevents tooth decay by weakening the effects of acid.

4. The tooth fairy is on a budget sometimes
According to a Visa poll, the tooth fairy doled out an average of $3.40 per lost tooth in 2014, which was down 30 cents from 2013. However, she's still quite generous to some lucky little ones. Time magazine highlighted instances of kids receiving anywhere from $20 to $50 per tooth.

5. People hate flossing
A survey conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology found that there's a laundry list of chores folks would rather complete than floss their teeth. In fact, 18 percent of survey respondents would choose washing a sink full of dirty dishes over flossing every day, 14 percent would rather clean the toilet or wait in a long checkout line, and 9 percent would prefer sitting in gridlock traffic.

Admittedly, flossing can get a little messy, but it's a necessary task for staving off cavities and gum disease. For a less abrasive option than string floss, opt for water picks, which use jets of water to clean between the teeth.

"27% of patients lie to dentists about regularly flossing."

6. Dental patients aren't always honest
The same AAP survey found that 27 percent of patients lie to their dentists about regularly flossing. Unfortunately for these folks, with a quick dental exam, dentists can usually tell who's been telling the truth, as slacking off on flossing can increase gingival bleeding.

Additionally, dental professionals already know what lies to look out for. Consultants speaking with Dental Products Report mentioned a few tall tales dentists frequently hear, including falsehoods about how a dental trauma occurred, payment statuses and when the patient last came in for an appointment.

Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to your well-being. Be truthful with your dentist so he or she can have all necessary information to develop effective care and treatment plans.

7. Your enamel is the hardest substance in your body
Dental health experts consider enamel the hardest substance in the body. Why does this mineral need to be so tough? According to Colgate, enamel shields your dentin (the underlying layer of the tooth) from acid and plaque. Plaque naturally grows on your teeth throughout the day, and when it reacts with sugars and certain carbohydrates, it can turn into acid. If you don't brush bacteria away or protect your enamel, this can lead to cavities. Plus, once you lose enamel, you can't get it back, so it's crucial to safeguard your smile by brushing and flossing regularly.

There are lots of interesting things to know about dental health. Learn more by reading the Dental Solutions blog.

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