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  • An average adult human mouth contains 32 teeth.

  • The agreed definition of a tooth

  • is a highly mineralised unit within the mouth.

  • Thirty-two highly mineralised units, eight incisors, four canines,

  • eight premolars and eight molars.

  • Plus four wisdom teeth which don't tend to make themselves known

  • until about five years after the rest of the adult set are in place,

  • because of course these 32 teeth are your second set.

  • An average baby is born with both milk and adult teeth

  • already in their head.

  • A seven-year-old Indian boy was recently found to have 526 teeth

  • inside his mouth.

  • But let's stick to the more common number. 20 milk teeth, 32 adult,

  • a total of 52.

  • Fifty-two teeth, rarely visible when born but they're all there,

  • in the skull.

  • Waiting...

  • waiting...

  • to erupt!

  • Thank goodness we can't remember teething. Consider if you will the

  • brutality of these shards of enamel ripping through innocent gums.

  • No wonder babies cry.

  • Reward for this discomforting experience comes when that first set

  • of baby teeth start to fall out, ready for the tooth fairy.

  • The first recording of such a transaction with a fee being paid

  • for a child's lost tooth is in 13th Century Norse culture.

  • Vikings going into battle would wear necklaces

  • made up of children's teeth.

  • Not because it presumably looked utterly terrifying,

  • but because they were considered lucky.

  • In the UK, the most common price paid for a tooth is £1,

  • although 11% of children apparently sleep soundly

  • with a crisp fiver under their pillow - far less lumpy than a coin.

  • Children in the Middle Ages were sometimes instructed to burn

  • their baby teeth, or risk spending the afterlife searching for them...

  • With such historical scaremongering surrounding teeth, it is perhaps

  • easier to understand why so many people now have a fear of dentists.

  • Eighty-four per cent of all adults in the UK have at least one filling

  • and the average Brit has seven.

  • Of course fillings are just one dental procedure,

  • your teeth may also be cleaned, flossed, capped or crowned,

  • bonded, braced, sealed, whitened or extracted.

  • But just remember, that going to the dentist today is far less precarious

  • than it used to be.

  • Before dentistry found acceptance as a medical profession,

  • extraction was the domain of barbers and blacksmiths.

  • Essentially, anyone with access to sharp tools or heavy pliers.

  • As 19th Century dentists like Horace Wells and William Morton

  • struggled to be considered professionals rather than tradesman,

  • public demonstrations of painless tooth extractions became

  • more and more commonplace.

  • Some using nitrous oxide ended in a volunteer screaming in agony,

  • but by 1846, dentistry had finally cracked anaesthesia.

  • People attempt to please their dentists by brushing their teeth,

  • a practice that has evolved from twigs and leaves, into a global

  • toothpaste industry worth billions.

  • Human teeth are now primarily used for biting off strips of sticky tape.

  • But these highly mineralised rocks are also responsible for crushing,

  • slicing and making manageable almost every meal or snack

  • you'll ever enjoy.

  • But we also use them to reflect our mood to others,

  • be that a welcoming smile or an aggressive snarl.

  • Contemporary teeth can be adorned with jewelled grilles

  • or filtered to perfection on Instagram,

  • but to think of the all-white uniform smile as perfect

  • is a relatively recent obsession.

  • Having a varied set of teeth is what allowed humans to survive

  • and flourish across the globe.

  • Our teeth have evolved to incorporate varying diets and environments,

  • frankly, we're lucky to have them.

  • Alligator teeth are considered particularly lucky.

  • But if you're seeking dental inspiration, look no further than...

  • sharks.

  • Unlike us, sharks can afford to loose a few teeth as they're able

  • to regenerate and replace them almost continuously.

  • One great white shark can produce tens of thousands of teeth

  • in their lifetime, which makes our 52 seem relatively...

  • toothless.

An average adult human mouth contains 32 teeth.

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B2 teeth tooth adult dental considered lucky

Some fun and freaky facts about teeth | BBC Ideas

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    Summer posted on 2020/11/19
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