Dental Facts & Stats – Paul Lowe Dentistry

categories: Blog

Here are some dental facts and stats you may not know, learn more about their history of dentistry and about some of the bizarre materials used in the past….

  • Everyone’s set of teeth are unique to them, just as fingerprints are. Even identical twins can be told apart from their teeth.Your teeth are the most hard-wearing substance found in the body and tooth enamel is the most highly mineralised part of the body. If you are right-handed you tend to chew on the right-hand side of your mouth. If you are left-handed you tend to chew on the left-hand side of your mouth.The production of saliva is essential to good oral hygiene – salvia cleanses the mouth of bad bacteria. 90% of systemic diseases have oral manifestations.
  • Toothbrushes with nylon bristles were first developed in 1938. However toothbrushes made from other materials like bristle existed as long ago as the 15th century. In 1780 an Englishman, William Addis, invented a brush with a handle made from cattle bone and bristles made from swine. Materials first used included bristles from hogs, horses and badgers.During the middle ages, twigs made from sweet-smelling wood were used by wealthy Europeans to clean their teeth. The first toothbrush was invented in 1857 by H.N Wadsworth, an American. The design followed a patterned three-row toothbrush design, with serrated bristles.The first electric toothbrush was developed in the United States in 1960


  • The first toothpaste was created by the Ancient Egyptians, and contained powdered oxen hooves, myrrh, pumice and burned eggshells. Toothpaste was also used since 500 B.C, in India and China . Compounds including chalk and flavours were added to toothpaste during the 1850s in order to develop a substance that worked. Post World War 2, additional agents were used, resulting in the addition of fluoride, which is still used today.Whitening products for teeth date back to the Middle Ages. But the ancient procedures, in which the teeth would be filed down and bathed in nitric acid, quickly led to extensive tooth decay!
  • Lucy Hobbs was the first woman to earn a D.D.S degree, from Ohio College of Dental Surgery- before this, only men were allowed to practice dentistry. In 1905 Irene Newman, a dental assistant, became the first dental hygienist
  • The first materials reported to be used for dentistry and orthodontics were animal intestines, stone and previous metals such as gold and silver – gold and silver are still used for fillings in 2016.Since 2011, 1 in 5 people receiving treatment for misaligned teeth is an adult.The average woman smiles 62 times a day. Men only manage 8 smiles a day.


A few more fun dental facts…

  • A Chinese dentist has built an 8’4” tower of 28,000 human teeth to try and raise awareness about dental hygiene but the award for the most dedicated dentist must go to Brother Giovanni Batista Orsenigo from Rome, a monk who was also a dentist. He kept all the teeth he extracted over the 40 years that he was working. In 1903 the number was counted and found to be 2,000,744 teeth, an average of nearly 200 extractions per day!
  • Elizabeth I had to have all her teeth removed, apparently because of her love of sweets. Once they were removed, she refused to appear in public without padding out her mouth with wads of cotton to maintain a more normal, younger-looking, face shape
  • The first commercial on British TV, in September 1955, was for a toothpaste.
  • In 1994, a prisoner in West Virginia, USA, plaited dental floss to make a rope and escape.
  • Kissing a donkey was supposed to be a great way of relieving toothache, according to “experts” in Germany in the Middle Ages.
  • In ancient Greece, donkeys’ milk was used as a mouthwash – it was believed to strengthen the gums and teeth.

Finally, did you know…

People who brush their teeth once a day are 33% more likely to develop tooth decay, it is important to remember to brush first thing in the morning when you first get up…even before breakfast and very importantly to never forget to brush your teeth last thing at night.


If you would like to arrange a check-up or a consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us at Paul Lowe Dentistry.