• July 4, 2016

The Fourth of July is a time for family, friends, and celebration. I hope soon enough you’ll be enjoying a day off work and overseeing some hamburgers or hotdogs on the grill. And that you’ll be with your family later to enjoy some fireworks.

If you’re like me and my family, you might enjoy some great trivia. Today is the perfect day to build some of your trivia chops. Below you’ll find a few facts about dental history — and some genuine American history!

Dental implants were used in ancient civilizations. Archeologists have found evidence that ancient civilizations used things like stones and seashells to replace teeth. Interesting, right? I don’t envy the dental patients of those times, but I find it interesting how even ancient civilizations understand the importance of restoring their mouth. Today, the preferred dental implant material is titanium, which merges with your jawbone and can support crowns, bridges, or dentures.

Paul Revere: American hero and dentist. That’s right. While he was a silversmith like his father, Paul Revere studied under a dental surgeon and practiced dentistry on the side. He even became the country’s first forensic dentist when he identified a colonel who died during the Battle of Bunker Hill based on dental bridge work.

Non-cola soft drinks are worse for your teeth than cola drinks. Soft drinks have been the enemy of dentists for years, but in 2004, researchers found that non-cola soft drinks (Sprite, ginger ale, 7Up), were worse for your teeth than cola beverages like Coca Cola and Pepsi. The reason is because non-cola soft drinks have high level of citric acid, which causes enamel erosion. The researcher also found that root beer was the safest cola for your teeth. Obviously, no dentist wants their patients to drink soda. I’m no different in that regard. But consider this fact when you’re out to dinner or at a cookout.

George Washington didn’t have wooden teeth. This is one of the oldest myths there is. The truth is much more interesting. While George Washington did have false teeth — he had just one natural tooth at the time he became president — his teeth were made of hippopotamus ivory.

We produce about 25,000 quarts of saliva in our lifetimes. That’s hard to put into context, but the important point here is that saliva is a necessary part of maintaining a healthy mouth. Saliva helps us flush food debris from our mouths and reduce bacteria levels.

An inmate once used dental floss to escape from prison. This isn’t folklore; it happened in West Virginia in 1994. The inmate braided the floss into a rope that he used to scale a wall. He was caught 41 days later. I encourage patients to use floss for more positive reasons. About 35 percent of your tooth lies below the gumline, and the best way to clean that area is with floss.

We hope these trivia facts help you understand the importance of great oral health. We are currently taking new patients who are struggling with a number of dental issues. We can help you take care of cosmetic issues or even restore damaged teeth. Call my office today at 248-972-8720 to schedule your dental visit.