Office: 614-443-3400 | 910 Dennison Ave. Columbus, OH 43201

Dental Trivia

  • The term "indentured servant" has a story behind it.  In the colonial days, debtors were shipped from Europe to America to work as servants.  Instead of signing a contract, they sealed their agreement by leaving their dental imprint in wax.

  • The defenders of the Alamo were the first to try chewing gum in America.  Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the mexican dictator who fought Davy Crockett and his Texas comrades, introduced modern day chewing gum.  His version of chewing gum was chicle, the latex sap of the sapodilla tree.  Thomas Adams, an American inventor, used chicle as the base for commercial chewing gums. Rumor has it, chicle could be the source of the brand name "Chicklets".

  • Francisco Goya, a famous Spanish artist, depicts a morbid dental custom of his time in the painting "A Casa de Dientas" (or "Tooth Hunting").  Dentists would quickly transplant live teeth, often stolen from the dead, into their patients empty alveolar sockets.

  • The Popular technigue of baking pizza in wood burning stoves could be harmful to your oral health.  The smoke from wood burning stoves can cause people to have two to three times the risk of mouth and throat cancers, according to the International Journal of Epidemiology. Wood stoves may be responsible for 30 % of all such cancers. 

  • What do tree branches, wild boar hairs, and nylon have in common?  The bristles of a toothbrush have been made from these items.  People have been concerned about their dental hygiene since Egyptian times.  Ancient tombs contained small tree branches which ends frayed into soft fibers.  In the 15th century, the Chinese made toothbrushes from the neck hairs of a Siberian wild boar.  The present day nylon toothbrush was invented in 1937.

  • Powdered fruit, talc, honey, dried flowers, mice and lizard livers were ingredients in ancient toothpaste and powder.  Soap and chalk were suggested components in the 1800s.  Modern toothpaste in collapsible tubes was introduced in the 1850s.  Fluoride was added to toothpaste in 1956.

  • Toothpicks haven't always been made of wood.  In ancient times, people used combination "tooth/ear pickers" made of bone, quills, silver, or gold.  These "detiscalpias" were used freely by even the best-mannered citizens.

  • Looking for an excuse to eat chocolate?  Many dentists agree that raisins can cause more tooth decay than chocolate.  Sticky foods, such as raisins and dried fruits, can stay on the teeth longer, and cause more decay.

  • Patients don't seem to be as concerned as they should be about the possible link between periodontal disease and strokes, heart disease, diabetes and low birth weight babies.  Periodontal disease is the most pressing oral health issue according to the 2009 ADA/Colgate oral health trend survey. 

  • Are you a wine drinker?  According to a study at Guys Hospital in London, the acid in wine was shown to erode the enamel on teeth.  A wine taster had been exposed to so much wine that only the fillings were protruding in some of the subject's teeth.  Any individual who tastes or drinks wine often should clean his/her mouth at least twice a day.  Typically, red wines causes the worst stains on teeth.

  • Routine dental radiographs may be an effective tool in preventing strokes, according to researchers at the University of Buffalo.  Stroke victims usually receive no warning of the impending stroke, but dental radiographs can help spot potentially dangerous calcium buildups in the carotid arteries near both ends of the jawbone.  These buildups can choke blood flow to the brain and are a cause of strokes.