Funny Facts About Dentistry

April 27, 2022

When it comes to learning about dentistry, you typically hear “boring” facts. While it is important to know why sugar causes cavities, it certainly isn’t entertaining to do so.

We’ve rounded up some funny (and fun) facts about dentistry that you will likely find a bit more interesting.

Someone Used Dental Floss to Escape From Prison

You know that Dr. Sharma suggests you floss your teeth every day, but one West Virginia prisoner used his floss in a different way. In 1994, Robert Dale Shepard turned dental floss into a rope by braiding it. He then tried to thread it through one of the fences in the recreation yard. His first attempt failed, as he didn’t make the rope long enough. The guards even found the dangling rope.

But when nothing happened, he used 48 strands of floss to create a new rope. That time, he successfully got over the fence. To do so, he attached a battery to the end to add weight and threw it over the fence. He then spent 41 days running from the law before being recaptured.

North American Kids Spend About Half a Billion Annually on Chewing Gum

Chewing sugar-filled gum is bad for your teeth due to the sugar. But opting for sugar-free versions can boost saliva production. That saliva production helps your mouth fight off bacteria, reducing the risk of tooth decay.

Even with its potential benefits for your oral health, you may be shocked to learn that North American kids spend about half a billion dollars per year on gum. At least, this was the figure previously floating around the internet.

The most recent figures from Statista say that the leading chewing gum brand alone (Wrigley’s) sells $657.3 million worth of gum. In case you are curious, Wrigley’s Doublemint is the most popular regular gum brand, while Wrigley’s Extra is the most popular sugar-free brand.

You Spend About 82 Days of Your Life Brushing

You may see figures floating around the internet that, on average, you will spend 38.5 days of your life brushing. But it is nearly impossible to find a source for this figure.

But the official estimate from the Oral Health Foundation comes with data. It assumes you live to 81.5 years old, which was the average UK life expectancy at the time of the calculation. It also assumes you follow dental guidelines and brush twice a day for two minutes each. Assuming that is the case, you will spend the equivalent of 82 days brushing during your life. For reference, this is 1,983.16 hours or 118,990 minutes.

Your Tongue-print Is Unique

One quick fun fact is that your tongue print is unique. Like a fingerprint, humans could potentially use tongue prints for biometrics or other uses. This fact is backed by a 2016 study.


If you find yourself putting off your next dental checkup, think about these fun facts. Maybe they will encourage you to think about your oral health, or at least to book your regular dental cleaning with our general dentistry in Lincoln Park.


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