6 Things About Your Teeth You Probably Didn’t Know

Human teeth are a fascinating part of the body, and they’re quite a bit more complex than many people realize. So while you’re busy taking care of your braces or Invisalign aligners, ruminating on these fun teeth facts can help you appreciate the transformation of your smile even more!

1. Enamel Is the Hardest Part of the Human Body

The enamel is the outer layer of the teeth, creating a protective shell over the softer, inner layers of the teeth. Like bones, they’re made mostly out of phosphate and calcium. But due to the specialized proteins and crystallites that form your enamel, they’re even stronger than typical bones.

That being said, the enamel isn’t invincible. Sugars and acids accelerate bacterial growth and breakdown of the enamel, leading to tooth decay. And since enamel doesn’t grow back, you’ll definitely want to avoid this!

2. The Dentin Does Grow

The layer right underneath your enamel is called the dentin. This softer layer is actually still harder than the rest of your bones, but that doesn’t mean you’d be able to get by with dentin alone. The dentin is home to an interconnected network of sensitive nerve endings, which is why you might experience tooth sensitivity if your enamel starts to wear.

And unlike enamel, which remains static, the dentin does grow and change in small ways.

3. A Lot of Tooth Is Below Your Gums

The parts of your teeth you most likely think about are clearly visible when you smile. However, about a third of each tooth sits below the gums, which is part of why keeping your gums healthy is so important.

4. Your Teeth Are Kind of Like Fingerprints

In the same way fingerprints can be used to differentiate one person from the next, teeth are just as unique. No two people have exactly the same set of teeth – not even identical twins. Bonus fact: your tongue is also unique. In the same way you have fingerprints, you also have a one-of-a-kind tongue print.

5. Teeth Can Bite with up to 200 Pounds of Pressure

You may think your biceps are impressive, but no matter how many curls you do, your arms won’t hold a candle to the force your jaw can generate. The human jaw can create about 200 pounds of force, which is on par with how hard a pitbull can bite down.

6. The Periodontal Membrane Allows for Tooth Movement

If you’re curious about how braces and Invisalign are able to move teeth, it’s all thanks to the periodontal membrane, also referred to as the periodontal ligament. This membrane, which is located in between the roots of your teeth and the socket in the jawbone, is what makes orthodontic treatment possible (it’s also why your jawbone doesn’t wear down from the force of chewing).

The pressure from the braces or clear aligners breaks down one side of the membrane while the space left on the other side gets slowly filled in. This allows your teeth to slowly move over time and to take new positions after orthodontic treatment is completed.

To learn more about how teeth work and how we can help improve your smile, book your consultation at Milnor Orthodontics today!

At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 230-3187 or visit milnororthodontics.com to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.