Dental Myths, Oddities, Misperceptions & Fun Facts
At Warner Lakes Dental, we take our preventative, restorative, and orthodontic treatments very seriously. But this doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a bit fun.
In fact, one of the things we are proud of is the light, happy mood we maintain at our practice to keep our patients, staff, and dentists in a good state of mind as we work with them to achieve optimal health.
So, today we’re going to take a look at some of the lighter side of dentistry – things people erroneously believe, misunderstandings of dental treatment, and a few fun facts. Enjoy!
Dental Myths And Misunderstandings
Many cultures have believed in weird, and ineffective, dental remedies. In ancient Greece, for instance, donkey’s milk was used as a mouthwash to strengthen the gums and teeth.
Weird beliefs about toothache care have also been common. At one time, people thought that if you trimmed your fingernails on Friday, your toothache would go away for a week. So, presumably, you’d just trim your fingernails every Friday!
Others toothache remedies included spitting in a frog’s mouth, or applying frogs to a person’s cheek or to the jaw by the painful tooth.
Women lose a tooth for each child they bear. This old wives’ tale may be related to the fact that women undergo hormonal changes while pregnant that can lead to gingivitis or bleeding gums. But having a child almost never causes serious dental issues.
Children need not be taken to the dentist until they have their second tooth. Dentists recommend that a child be taken to the dentist by the age of one for good advice on how to care for the child’s teeth and promote a healthy dental routine for life.
Tooth loss is an expected part of aging. Tooth loss can happen at any age due to poor oral care, infection, and trauma. But with good oral hygiene, natural teeth can last a lifetime.
Strange Truths About Teeth
Wisdom teeth hold stem cells, and you can save them in case you need them later.
Straight teeth are not a sign of beauty everywhere in the world. Some areas of Japan find crooked teeth attractive. The “snaggle-tooth” look is called “yaeba” in Japanese or “two teeth.” Blogs are devoted to yaeba, celebrities proudly display crooked teeth, and women sometimes pay dentists to apply crooked veneers to straight teeth!
Mayans decorated their teeth with jewels. Dentists would drill into teeth with primitive drills and insert gemstones. Amazingly, they could do this without cracking or breaking the teeth. Teeth were also decorated by shaping and/or decreasing teeth. In most cases, it was men who underwent this procedure. It was also usually the men who had the jewels inserted into their teeth.
We still do this kind of thing today. While gems can still be installed in teeth, tooth tattoos, or “tattooths” are growing in popularity. A tattooth is a dental crown with an initial, logo, or any other image applied to a surface. Tattooths are not permanent; your dentist can remove them.
John Lennon’s tooth toured UK dental practices
After his death, part of one of John Lennon’s teeth toured the UK to promote awareness of oral cancer.
The tooth was purchased at auction by author, dentist, and celebrity tooth collector Michael Zuk for £19,000. Beverly Hills jewellry designer Ari Soffer also used part of the tooth in a necklace. Called the “John Lennon DNA Tooth Necklace”, it was once appraised at £15,600 ($25,000).
In 2012, the tooth necklace toured 16 dental practices in the UK to highlight National Mouth Cancer Month.
The Tooth Fairy used to be a mouse. Well, sort of. The Tooth Fairy partly developed from a rite of passage that is practised in many countries: offering a baby tooth that has fallen out to a mouse or other rodent. The idea was that if a mouse collected the baby tooth, your adult teeth would come in as strong as a rodent’s.
Even today, in many countries the mouse is still seen as the nocturnal tooth-taker although today the mouse leaves coins or a small gift.
The U.S. uses the same underlying story, with a fairy in place of the mouse. It is speculated that the “fairy” character came to the US from Europe and when movie characters like “Pinocchio” and “Cinderella” became famous the idea of the tooth fairy expanded.
The Warner Lakes Dental Experience
Warner Lakes Dental wants your visit to be the quickest and most convenient dental experience possible. From parking to treatment, we try to make the entire process as simple and painless as possible. From routine check-ups and cleans to root canals, extractions, and cosmetic treatments, Warner Lakes Dental is your partner in dental health.