Giggle Guide: 10 Fun Facts About Kids Dentistry

giggling child

Have you ever wondered about strange facts from everyday things, like dentistry? Maybe you’ve asked yourself questions about the origins of chewing gum and the most popular color of toothbrush. Maybe you’ve even wondered who made brushing and gargling a thing, or perhaps what Her Majesty used to brush her teeth. 


We at Bay Area Kids Dentist will satisfy your curiosity, giving you the low-down on some fun but widely unknown facts surrounding pediatric dentistry


Prepare to be shocked, amazed, and informed. Here are 10 fun facts about dentistry. 


  1. Worms? In Your Teeth?!


Put your mouthwash down. There’s no such thing as “tooth worms.” 


In ancient Sumeria (5000 BC), dental decay was attributed to “tooth worms,” according to certain texts. 


This myth persisted for centuries until modern science discovered it wasn’t the case. It was revealed that dental decay is actually caused by bacteria. 


We’ve come a long way in pediatric dentistry. And luckily, we now understand the true causes of dental issues. 


  1. “Potty Mouth”


You may have heard that your mouth is home to bacteria. If you’ve ever asked how many you’d find, prepare to be shocked. 


According to a 2005 study, there are over 700 types of bacteria in the human mouth. 


To put this into perspective, think of your entire home. If you collected all the types of bacteria in it, you’d end up with just 340 types


  1. Boars and Bones — The Origins of the First Toothbrush


Let’s travel back in time to the late 1700s. 

During this time, toothbrushes weren’t as user-friendly. In 1780, William Addis came up with the first toothbrush. Back then, he used a cow’s bone to make the handle and attached boar hairs for the bristles. 


Would you ever use this toothbrush? We wouldn’t!


  1. Queen Elizabeth’s “Sweet” Dental Routine


Have you ever been told to stop eating sweets because sugar causes cavities? You may want to read about Her Majesty’s unusual dental routine. 


Queen Elizabeth I’s dental hygiene routine might sound unusual today, but back in her time, sugar was considered a luxury and was often used to clean teeth. 


Unfortunately, this practice likely contributed to her tooth decay rather than preventing it. Thankfully, modern toothpaste contains ingredients that effectively clean teeth without causing harm.


  1. Your Mouth Can’t Live on Brushing Alone


Brushing is a great habit to get into even if it’s just once a day, but hardly is it enough for total oral health. 




Because brushing doesn’t target other parts of the mouth like the areas below the gum line, tongue, and cheeks — which, by the way, also harbor a lot of bacteria. 


So, for total oral health beyond your pearly whites, don’t forget to floss, gargle with mouthwash, and brush parts of the mouth like the tongue. 


  1. An Exiled Mexican President and Chewing Gum


What do you get when you take an exiled Mexican president in Staten Island and a desire to create a substitute for rubber? You get the first chewing gum!


Chewing gum was first introduced to America by Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, a Mexican general, in the 19th century. 


His early chewing gum was made from natural substances like tree sap. While in Staten Island, the General used chicle in an attempt to create a rubber substitute but ended up with gum. 


  1. Tooth Decay Is More Common Than You Think


We know how common the cold is, but did you know that tooth decay is the second most common “bug” in the United States? 


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s right behind the pesky common cold. 


Affecting 57% of children, it’s one of the most common childhood dental concerns, alongside mouth sores and chipped teeth. 


  1. Flavor Frenzy


These days, toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors. However, it wasn’t always that way. 


Back in the early 1900s, mint was added to toothpaste. At the time, it was the only flavor you’d find unless you’re willing to settle for peroxide-tasting toothpaste. 


Fortunately, children have the luxury of choice these days, with toothpaste being available in many different flavors. 


  1. Tooth Decay Has Been Around Since Prehistoric Times


Tooth decay is known to be caused by excessive sugar intake. With this in mind, you’d think these dental problems are modern, but that’s just not the case. 


In fact, some of the earliest evidence of tooth decay was seen in fossilized teeth that are 2.5 million years old


This suggests that our cave pals suffered from tooth decay just as much as we did. 


It’s a good thing we’ve got kids’ dentists today. 


  1. The Most Popular Toothbrush Color Is…


If you look at children’s toothbrushes, you’ll likely find several blue ones — and this shouldn’t surprise you. 




It’s because blue is the most popular toothbrush color amongst kids. While there are several reasons for this, the most salient one is that blue has a calming effect — something kids want as they brush their pearly whites. 


Fun Facts and Children’s Dentists at Bay Area Kids Dentist 


At Bay Area Kids Dentist, we’re here to turn dental visits into unforgettable adventures for your little ones. Our board-certified pediatric dentists are all about positive, fun, and educational experiences. 


Schedule an appointment today and let us brighten your child’s smile.