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The Oral Anomaly: Five Unexpected Facts Related to Your Chops

Today, we’re going to highlight five interesting historical occurrences and present facts related to dental care, oral hygiene products, dentists, and the mouth in general.

In all areas of industry – even highly professional ones like dentistry, cosmetology and healthcare – things happen that you would never expect.  We’re not talking about bad things here.  We’re talking about mind-blowing things.  Things you’d never imagine.  Some of the expert San Antonio, TX dentists at Cosmetic Dental Associates were even surprised by these!

Without further ado, here are five fun facts related to the dental industry that you probably never knew before:

1.  Dental Floss Used for Prison Escape

In 1994, Robert Sheppard escaped from a West Virginian prison using dental tape.  According to the L.A. Times, “While cameras, guards and computer-controlled doors were keeping other inmates in, Shepard reportedly braided the floss into a rope as thick as a telephone cord and used it to scale an 18-foot wall.”  We wonder how long it took him to make this braid.  As long as it took Andy Dufresne to carve through rock in Shawshank Redemption?

2.  25,000 Quarts of Saliva

That’s how much spit you produce during your lifetime, which is enough to fill two swimming pools to the brim.  Considering the fact that saliva is composed of 99.5% water, it wouldn’t be as hard as it seems to swim in spit.  The other 0.5% of electrolytes, mucus, glycoproteins, enzymes, and antibacterial compounds is what makes our saliva gooey and undesirable to swim in.

3.  Your Teeth are Stronger than You

The enamel that makes up your teeth is the hardest part of the human body.  It’s stronger than the bones in your skeletal structure and even your skull.  Tooth enamel is the part of the tooth you can see.  It’s what gives a tooth its whiteness and protection from harmful elements.  The color of enamel is anything from bluish white to yellowish.

4.  Elephant Tusks for Teeth

In early America, the dentures that are available today didn’t exist.  When someone lost their teeth to decay, they had to replace them with other things.  Take George Washington, first president of our country, for instance.  When he lost his teeth, he resorted to dentures made from hippopotamus, cow and walrus teeth.  Some were also made from elephant tusks.  The earliest known dentures were made in Japan from wood.

5.  The Electric Chair Related to Dentistry?

Not directly, but indirectly, yes.  In 1881, the state of New York decided to create a new execution model that was more humane.  Alfred P. Southwick, a dentist, gave the state a helping hand.  He combined two things to come up with the idea: 1) an unforgettable life experience and 2) his experience doing dental work on people in a chair.  Before developing the idea for the electric chair, he witnessed a drunk man touch an electric generator and die nearly instantly.  He found this method to be the quickest for execution.

Of course, at Cosmetic Dental Associates, things aren’t quite as quirky. When you visit our office, you know what you’ll be getting: quality dental services with no surprises. However, we still enjoy sharing these fun tidbits and pieces of trivia with our customers.

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