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October 10, 2013

13 Teeth and Dentist Facts


This week I had a long overdue visit to the dentist. Certainly inspiration for this week’s Thursday Thirteen.

Thirteen Things About Teeth and Dentists

1. Humans generally have two sets of teeth during their life time.

2. Baby teeth, which number 20.

3. Adult teeth, which number 32. (This includes wisdom teeth)

4. Not flossing means you missing cleaning around 35% of each tooth.

5. Long ago dentists used to advertise their profession by hanging strings of rotten teeth outside their premises.

6. Dentist began experimenting with implants back in the 18th century.

7. Teeth were taken from dead people and implanted into mouths of those who could afford to pay the required price.

8. A set of teeth cost up to 5 guineas. (Not sure how much this equates to these days)

9. Teeth donors sometimes passed on more than their teeth. Diseases such as syphilis and tuberculosis were also passed on from infected donors.

10. Back in 5000BC people thought tooth worms caused decay.

11. Drilling teeth isn’t a new thing. It’s said that ancient dentists were very efficient at drilling…without pain killing drugs. Ouch!

12. During the Middle Ages, monks usually acted as dentists.

13. In the early 1700s, dentistry came under doctoring, but by around 1750, dentists were a branch of their own.

I’m terrible when it comes to dentist visits. I have a healthy fear and I put off visits as long as I can. My visit this week was the first one in three years!

Do you fear the dentist?


The History of Dentistry, Namibia Dentist Association

The Rotten Tooth: A Brief History of Dentistry


  1. Jennifer Leeland

    Oooh I hear you. I’m horrible about going to the dentist.
    I didn’t know they used dead people’s teeth fo implants. *shudders*
    Great TT Shelley.

    • Shelley Munro

      Thanks, Jennifer. It is a bit creepy – the implants.

  2. Colleen@LooseLeafNotes

    They have it all so down now compared to when I was young and rightfully feared the dentist. Then I feared the dent in my pocket book and now I am paying for all those visits I didn’t make or put off. Just got an implant for over $4,000!

    I read somewhere that dentists committed suicide more than other professions.

    • Shelley Munro

      I fear the dent in my pocket. That’s what usually stops me from going.

  3. CountryDew

    I have never feared the dentist, and go for my cleanings twice yearly. I love it when my teeth are clean. But my husband *never* goes to the dentist, unless he has pain.

    • Shelley Munro

      I have to agree about clean teeth, but even teeth cleaning hurts!

  4. sandy

    chemo and radiation took mine

    • Shelley Munro

      I’m sorry to hear that.

  5. Kimberly Menozzi

    Ouch! I’m aching just thinking about some of these! :(

    • Shelley Munro

      Can you imagine having someone else’s teeth sewn and wired into your mouth? Ouch, for sure!!

  6. Alice Audrey

    *Flinch* #11.

    I have an appointment coming up.

    • Shelley Munro

      I’m glad mine is done and dusted!

  7. Heather

    Like you, I have a fear of dentists. As for number seven…ew!

    • Shelley Munro

      I know. I’m glad dentistry has modernised!!

  8. Mary Kirkland

    Ok, they used to hang rotten teeth outside their business? lol ewww.

    I am afraid of the dentist..never liked going to them. Just about 8 years ago I had to have my wisdom teeth out. Only one was bothering me but the oral surgeon assured me that I should have all four of them surgically removed at the same time..so I did. Big mistake…big mistake!

    First off, I don’t do well at all under general anesthesia and I told them that. I was sick every hour afterwards for 12 hours…couldn’t hold nothing down. It was awful.

    On top of having my wisdom teeth out..he told me that he accidentally fractured my jaw while he was getting the lower right tooth out. It was just a hairline fracture, no displacement but it took 6 weeks to heal and I couldn’t open my mouth more than an inch or so for a month because it hurt so bad. Yeah…I don’t like dentists.

    • Shelley Munro

      Ooh, Mary. That sounds horrid. When I had my wisdom teeth taken out my entire face swelled up and I looked as if someone had decked me.

  9. Maria Zannini

    I go twice a year for teeth cleaning. Knock on wood, I haven’t needed any work done in years.

    • Shelley Munro

      I’m busy knocking on wood too!

  10. Pearl

    5, 7 ew. glad that’s not anymore. I’d rather go to the dentist than get my hair cut, even if the dentist costs 10x more.

    • Shelley Munro

      Haircuts aren’t as traumatic for me as doctors and dentists.

  11. Stephanie Sullivan

    I would rather go to a gynecologist any day of the week than visit the Dentist. Seriously … I HATE IT. I’m long overdue for a visit too, but I just can’t bring myself to go. Ugh.

    • Shelley Munro

      I put it off for as long as I could. We ended up purchasing Grab One vouchers, and then I had to go because I’d paid for the visit. A good strategy, really.

  12. Jennifer Shirk

    My hubby as a child apparently had General Patton’s dentist from the war so he never used any Novocain! NO wonder my hubby is messed up. LOL