Posts for: May, 2018
It is probably safe to say that you know who the Tooth Fairy is, but do you know where she came from and how the tradition of putting lost baby teeth underneath a pillow in exchange for money came from? As a parent, you have probably played the role of the Tooth Fairy or will do so in the future for your children, the same way that your parents or guardians did for you. Unlike the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, who are both tied to religious holidays, the Tooth Fairy is domination-free and a tradition most families follow without a second thought to why or how that tradition began.
It might come as a shock, but the Tooth Fairy, as we know her, isn’t even a hundred years old. She is also from the United States of America. While other countries around the world have their own traditions that surround the loss of baby teeth, the Tooth Fairy with her beautiful wings, sparkly dress, glittery wand, sweet demeanor, and maternal vibe, is unique to the United States.
The earliest written account of the Tooth Fairy came from a three-act eight-page playlet for children that was written by Esther Watkins Arnold in 1927. The story was written to help bring comfort to children during their years of losing their twenty baby teeth. The idea and act of losing not just one tooth, but twenty teeth in total can be a scary one for young children. The tradition of a sweet and silent fairy taking away the lost tooth from beneath one’s pillow and replacing it with money really helped make this natural part of growing up something to look forward to rather than fear.
Around the same time the story of the Tooth Fairy gained popularity in the United States, Disney released animated movies like Cinderella and Pinocchio, which both had an important fairy character. It was Disney’s rendition of the fairy that helped to solidify what the Tooth Fairy would look like in the minds of most children; a sweet maternal figure with a wand. While there are all different versions of the Tooth Fairy on a physical level, the idea and story is the same across the board. The Tooth Fairy sneaks into the bedroom on the night that a baby tooth is lost, removes it undetected from underneath the pillow, and replaces the tooth with money.
While this tradition is unique to the United States, many countries, including Russia, Mexico, and New Zealand adhere to the tradition of a Tooth Mouse sneaking into the bedroom to take the lost baby tooth. Now, many parents leave money or a small gift behind in exchange for the tooth, but the original tradition was that if the mouse took your tooth it meant that you would have strong adult teeth since mice themselves have strong teeth. Other cultures have children throw their lost baby tooth on the roof, bury it in the ground, toss it in a fire, place it in a tree, or even give it to their mother to swallow.
At Parker Dentistry, we think teeth are absolutely fascinating, and not only our teeth, but all teeth! That’s probably not the way you feel about teeth though. But that’s about to change! Unless teeth are just your thing, you probably haven’t put too much thought into them other than taking care of them. Here are some things that make our teeth so awesome followed by some quirky, mind-blowing, and weird facts about other animals’ teeth.
Fascinating facts about our teeth and oral health
- Every tooth is completely unique. Each tooth in your mouth, whether from your adult set of 32 or your “baby” set of 20, has its own unique shape, size, and profile. No two teeth are exactly the same in your mouth and all of your teeth are completely different from anyone else’s set.
- Your teeth can tell stories. Your teeth can tell a lot about you and your personal history. Your teeth can reveal your age, your diet, your current state of health, and show a record of periods of stress or sickness that have occurred in our lifespan.
- Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in our entire body.
- There are over 300 different types of bacteria in plague. Gross!
- Tooth decay is the second most common disease, second only to the common cold.
- There is more bacteria in your mouth than there are people on the planet.
- On average, we will spend 38 days of our life brushing our teeth.
- The first tooth brush was invented 5,000 years ago by the Egyptians. However, the Chinese were the first to create a tooth brush that more closely resembles the type we use today.
- The world’s first known dentist was named Hesi-Re and he lived and practiced in Egypt 5,000 years ago.
- In a lifetime, we will produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools.
- It takes 43 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile.
- In North America, over 3 million miles of dental floss is purchased every year.
- The most valuable tooth belonged to Sir Isaac Newton and sold in London in 1816 for $3,633. Today that’s the equivalent of $35,700. His tooth was set in a ring.
Pretty neat, right? Well, it’s about to get even neater!
- Snails have the most teeth out of any animal. Snails don’t have traditional looking teeth though. Their teeth are in rows on their tongue. Some species have over 20,000 teeth!
- Giraffes have no upper front teeth. Like us, they have 32 teeth, but they are positioned in the back of their mouths.
- Sharks lose at least one tooth a week but have a backup row up teeth always waiting to move forward when one in the front goes missing.
- The hippopotamus has the longest canine teeth of any animal. They can grow as long as three feet!
- Most animals don’t get cavities because their diets aren’t high in sugar like a lot of ours are.
- A narwhal horn is actually a giant tooth and can grow more than 8 feet in length.
- A mosquito actually has 47 teeth, but you can’t see them without a microscope.
- While frogs have teeth, toads do not.
- Crocodiles have a set of 60 replaceable teeth and will go through 2,000 teeth in a lifetime.
Teeth are pretty fascinating, right?
Fish oil supplements are in the top three most widely used dietary supplements. It is a multi-billion-dollar industry in the United States alone. According to the National Institute of Health, people stated that their reasons for taking fish oil supplements were to help with heart disease, stroke, depression, high blood pressure, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, osteoporosis, dyslexia, Alzheimer’s disease, dry eyes, glaucoma, and even movement disorders. Basically, it is commonly believed that fish oil, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, is the cure all miracle pill.
Omega-3 is a fatty acid that our bodies cannot produce; it must be consumed. It is an important fatty acid though, especially for brain function, heart health, and its anti-inflammatory properties, among other benefits. It is time that we reevaluate where we are getting our omega-3 fatty acids from though. There is definitely an environmental issue that goes along with the fish oil industry, as well as some potential health risks.
The same way that your protein doesn’t necessarily need to come from animals, neither does your omega-3 fatty acids. The most commonly caught fish for fish oil pills is the menhaden. This filter feeder is rich in omega-3 because it consumes copious amounts of algae. Just like us, fish don’t produce omega-3 fatty acids, they have to get it from other sources.
Half a billion menhaden are caught every year in North America to keep up with the demand for fish oil pills. A major issue with removing this amount of menhaden from the Atlantic and Gulf Coast is that without them necessary water filtration doesn’t take place. Menhaden filter four to six gallons of water every minute. In doing so, they prevent oxygen-depleting algae blooms from happening. Consistent algae blooms can cause an area in the ocean to become a dead zone. As you can see, the menhaden play a vital role in keeping the ocean clean and alive.
You must also keep in the mind that our oceans are far more contaminated now with chemicals released from plastics and heavy metals like mercury, lead, and arsenic, which end up in the fatty tissues of the fish that the oil is made from.
Instead on relying entirely on eating fish and taking fish oil supplements to get your daily source of omega-3 fatty acids, what if you could cut out “the middleman” and just consume the source? Flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and sesame seeds (you can find these in seed form or oil form) are some of the easiest to find and buy plant-based alternatives. Algae (also can be found in oil form) is literally the direct source of the omega-3’s the we are getting from the menhaden, salmon, tuna, mackerels, and sardines we consume for this valuable fatty acid.
Juice Plus+ recently released a fourth blend to compliment the Orchard, Garden, and Vineyard blends. The Omega Blend is one of the most sustainable and safe omega supplements on the market. Not only does the Omega Blend contain omega-3, but it also includes omega 5, 6, 7, and 9. This completely plant-based blend contains pomegranate seed oil, raspberry seed oil, sea buckthorn seed oil, tomato seed oil, safflower seed oil, and algal oil. You can also say goodbye to fishy burps when you give up fish oil for a plant-based alternative!
We live in an era of information and choices. If there is a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly, safe, and superior option, why wouldn’t you take it? You are better off enjoying sustainably caught salmon and tuna in its filet form and supplementing your diet with plant-based omega-3 sources than taking fish oil pills that are detrimental to the ocean and potentially to your health.
The choice is always yours!
The term antioxidant is thrown around a lot when you hear or read about anything that relates to diet, nutrition, health, and wellness. While it is relatively common knowledge that antioxidants are important for your immune system, do you know what antioxidants really are and why are they good for your immune system and overall wellness? And where can you find antioxidants and how can you make sure that you are getting enough of them every day?
Antioxidants are molecules that stop the oxidation of other molecules. Antioxidants fight the damage that free radicals cause to our cells. Free radicals come from air pollution, rays from the sun, bacteria, cigarette smoke, alcohol intake, and other toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis or choose to expose our bodies to. When your body doesn’t have enough antioxidant-support, excessive oxidative stress can take place, which can damage your internal and external body. Free radicals are also responsible for signs of aging, cancer, inflammatory aliments, asthma, diabetes, and even dementia.
Fortunately, antioxidants are found in a delicious abundance of natural foods. The main antioxidants are vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene. Red, orange, yellow, dark greens, blue, and purple fruits and vegetables typically contain very high levels of antioxidants. This is one of the major reasons why you should “eat the rainbow.”
Beta-Carotene-rich foods include asparagus, beets, broccoli, kale, mangoes, spinach, tomatoes, watermelon, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin C-rich foods include berries, kiwi, oranges, papaya, bell peppers, grapefruit, and snow peas.
Vitamin E-rich foods include avocado, mustard greens, pumpkin, nuts, sunflower seeds, and chard.
Are you worried that you might not be getting enough antioxidants in your daily diet or do you want to ensure that your body is always ready to fight back against the constant flood of free radicals?
Juice Plus+ Vineyard blend is packed full of the real powerhouse antioxidants. Each capsule contains concord grapes, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, black currants, bilberries, raspberries, pomegranates, and elderberries. Are you eating bilberries and elderberries every day?
Antioxidants are key players in the fight against heart disease, neurological and mood disorders, the flu and common cold, outward signs of aging, vision degeneration, periodontal disease, infections, and inflammation. Adding Juice Plus+ Vineyard Blend to your daily routine can have significant benefits to your present and future health.
As we’ve talked about in the past, preventative healthcare is the best approach to healthcare and your diet is a major part of your preventative healthcare plan.
Talk to Dr. Blake or Honi, if you like to learn more about easy antioxidant support.