1. A tooth can come into the mouth with a cavity.
2. A cavity is one of the few things the body cannot heal. It just gets larger with time, unless a dentist removes the decay and places a filling.
3. A tooth can grow in upside down, sideways or backwards.
4. Baby teeth hold space for the permanent teeth that follow – it’s important to hang onto them until they’re ready to come out on their own.
5. While we’re on the subject of baby teeth, they’re also called “deciduous” teeth – from the Latin word “decidere,” which means to fall off or be shed (like leaves from a deciduous tree).
6. Teeth by the numbers: we get two sets of teeth – 20 baby teeth and 32 (usually) permanent teeth – unless you get extra teeth (supernumerary teeth), or some teeth never develop (congenitally missing teeth). Thank your genes for extra or missing teeth.
7. Research suggests that some sweet flavors in e-cigarette liquids may increase the risk of getting cavities. (As if nicotine addiction wasn’t enough already.)
8. Back teeth are called “molars.” They are used for grinding food when you chew.
9. Diet soda and sports drinks can be just as tough on teeth as regular soda. Both contain acid. Acid attacks the enamel surface of your teeth and can lead to cavities. Some bottled waters and flavored bubbly waters can be acidic enough to cause cavities too!
10. The part of the tooth you see, the crown, is only about a quarter to a third of the entire tooth. The rest of the tooth is under the gums.