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Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
Store and its social media channels. He is a regular contributor to Agent Straight Talk, the
only consumer blog explaining the ins, outs and in-betweens of dental insurance and
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Paul Revere, walrus teeth dentures and American Gothic

Mar 30, 2012

Hey, it's Friday and springtime, when a young man's fancy turns to...uh,...well, I don't remember what a young man's fancy turns to in springtime, or any other time as far as that goes. But I know that every day our fancy around here is on smiles. Hope today's blog post on little known dental historical facts and dental trivia will earn us a few.

What early American colonialist worked as a silversmith, a copper plate engraver and a dentist? Paul Revere. His waiting room had lanterns: one if the doctor was in, two if he was on a midnight ride.

Which daydreaming dentist later became a best-selling western novelist? Zane Grey. Think every patient recognized themselves in his books?

What famous painting depicting a sober-looking farmer and his wife was the artist’s actual dentist? American Gothic by Grant Wood.  Swap the pitchfork for a really big dental forceps and everyone would have known.

Which celebrities wore braces after achieving stardom?

Cher  True or False           
Carol Burnett  True or False          
Diana Ross True or False          
Jack Klugman True or False          
Jill St. John True or False          

Brace yourself – all of the above are true.

Which Michigan town was the first in the world to use fluoride in the public water supply? Hint: it was mentioned in a recent Dental Wire story about a Floridian fluoride feud in Pinellas County. Think Michigan; specifically, Grand Rapids in 1945.

In what year did the country’s first female receive her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree? Lucy Hobbs Taylor broke through the fluoride floor and dental glass ceiling in 1866.

What dairy product is excellent for keeping the pearlies sparkling? Cheese, specifically aged cheddar, Swiss or Monterey Jack. Got milk?

What is the most prevalent disease in the U.S. next to the common cold? Common tooth decay

How soon in development does a human fetus begin growing teeth? Six weeks after conception – can you conceive of that?

Fun Fact: Most everyone knows that George Washington had wooden teeth but few know he designed them himself. Bet even fewer know the Father of our Country also had several dentures made of hippopotamus, cow, walrus teeth and elephant’s tusk. Washington held his dentures in place by a spring attached to both upper and lower dentures. Honest, I cannot tell a lie on this subject.

Did you know…?

-  The Etruscans were the first known dentists.  In 700 BC they carved false teeth from the teeth of various mammals, producing partial bridge work good enough to use for eating. This is really impressive considering a lot of what they ate back then was cooked rare to medium-rare.

-  James Dean, the movie icon who died at 24 after making just three films, wore a bridge because he had no front teeth. I'm guessing bobbing for apples was not his favorite party game.

-  The first set of false teeth was discovered in the 8th century BC. Contrary to popular belief, comedienne Phyllis Diller did not make the initial discovery.

-  Most children are brought to the dentist for their first visit at age three. Obviously their parents failed to read Dental Wire or Agent-Straight Talk.

-  During the Dark Ages (400-1400 AD), it was commonly thought you could grow a lost tooth by getting one from someone else. Of course now we know that’s impossible. The Tooth Fairy leaves money instead.

-  Over three million miles of dental floss is purchased in North America annually. Approximately 2.75 million of those miles wind through Los Angeles and Hollywood.

-  A century ago half of North American adults were toothless. Four out of five dentists today are glad they didn't live back then.

Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk. And remember, if you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.  Let us know what  you want us to blog about by emailing me at:

Find me on Twitter at Twitter@ToothTeller

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Copyright 2012, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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