In Fact, All Teeth Are Unique!
Most people have 32 teeth: Eight incisors, four canines, eight premolars, and 12 molars. If you’ve had your wisdom teeth taken out, you might only have 28. It’s pretty much the same for everyone. But the number of teeth you have is where the similarities stop. Your dental x-rays may look like any other person’s, but the fact is, your teeth couldn’t be more unique. They’re as special to you as your fingerprints.
You’re not going to find anyone else in the world with a mouth full of teeth like yours! Like snowflakes, stars and diamonds, no two sets of teeth are the same. Each one is just a little bit different, making it undeniably unique. It doesn’t matter how straight or crooked your smile is, there’s no other like it in the whole world. When you smile, know that you’re showing off a truly unique part of yourself.
As Unique As Fingerprints
The unique nature of our teeth comes from our bite pattern. Your smile may look like everyone else’s, but that’s only from a front view. Each tooth has a unique shape at its crown. If you were to bite down on a mold, the impression left behind would show you what your unique bite pattern looks like. Yours is the only one like it! Bite patterns are so unique, they’re actually used to identify people. Forensic investigations use bite patterns to match people with bite wounds, as well as identify human remains. If a person has crowns or fillings, it’s even easier to make a positive ID match. It’s so accurate, dental records are often used as evidence in court.
Even if you have work done on your teeth, they’re still unique to you. The fillings you had as a kid, the root canal you have as an adult—even the braces you had for years—are all contributors to the unique nature of your smile. Perhaps the most amazing part about your teeth is that you only see about two-thirds of them. A third of each tooth is anchored below the gums. It’s why gum health is so important! Just like your teeth should be pearly white, your gums should be pink and firm. They’re part of your unique smile, after all.
Fun Facts About Your Unique Smile
Having a 100% unique set of teeth may be exciting, but there are some truly amazing things you probably don’t know about them. There’s more to your one-of-a-kind set of chompers than you might realize. Check out a few fun facts:
- Not even identical twins have identical teeth! Each twin will have their own unique bite pattern, much like they have slightly different fingerprints.
- Teeth are so strong, they’re often used to positively identify victims after major tragedies, like fire. Teeth can survive temperatures up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit!
- The wear on your teeth can identify habits or lifestyles. For example, someone who plays the clarinet will have distinctive wear on their incisors from the mouthpiece.
- Your unique teeth can tell a dentist a lot about your health. Indicators of many major health conditions start in the mouth, including disease, diabetes, and stroke.
- You grow your first set of teeth (baby teeth) in the womb, even though they don’t appear for about a year. Your unique adult teeth form around age six, pushing out at age 12-13.
The more you learn about your teeth and gums, the more astonishing facts you’ll learn. For example, did you know there are more than 700 different types of (good!) bacteria in your mouth? Or that your tooth enamel is the strongest part of your entire body? You may share all these traits with other people, but when it comes to your teeth and smile, it’s just a little bit different.
Your Tongue Is One-Of-A-Kind, Too
Just as unique as your teeth is your tongue. That’s right—your tongue isn’t only a bunch of taste buds! It’s part of what makes you who you are. Like your fingerprints, the unique nature of your tongue comes from its “tongue print.” The map of your taste buds forms a one-of-a-kind pattern that’s impossible to mimic. In fact, it’s so unique that many new-age biometric security applications have begun to explore using the tongue as a method for identification! If you were to make a print of your tongue, you’d be able to identify unique patterns and striations that actually look like a fingerprint. Don’t be surprised if one day, your tongue is used to identify you as who you say you are!
Embrace Your Smile As Part Of Who You Are
Lots of people are self-conscious of their smile. They hide it or try to cover it up. Some people get braces or veneers. But no matter what you do to your teeth, they’re still one of the most unique parts of who you are as a person. Whatever you do—short of pulling your teeth—you can’t change their unique, one-of-a-kind nature. Remember that the next time you think about your teeth.
Care For Your Smile—It’s The Only One You’ve Got!
From a young age, we’re all taught the importance of good oral hygiene. That’s because once your adult teeth grow in, they’re the only ones you’ll have for the rest of your life. Keeping them well-brushed and flossed is essential for preserving their health. It’s not just about keeping your teeth white, either. It’s about protecting the enamel and preventing tooth decay. Losing your teeth to decay or having them pulled due to infection or abscess means losing a distinct part of yourself. It’s like losing a fingerprint! And while you have 32 (or 28) teeth, losing even one means losing part of your smile.
Take care of your teeth. Your smile is amazing and unique, and it deserves to be part of your identity for the rest of your life. It’s something no one can mimic because it’s unique to you.