Just in case you’re looking for some fun trivia to entertain guests at your next dinner party, the Creekside Dental Team has compiled this list of weird dental facts for your viewing pleasure.

Ancient toothpaste was composed of interesting ingredients such as powdered fruit, honey, dried flowers, mice and lizard livers. Some Egyptians used powdered oxen hooves, myrrh and burned eggshells.

Toothpicks were not always made of wood. In days of old, people used combination ear/tooth pickers made of bone, quills, silver or gold.

In Europe, it was big business for grave robbers in the 1800s to steal teeth from corpses to make life-like dentures. Having all of ones teeth removed and getting dentures was considered the perfect gift for a 21st birthday or newly married bride.

Toothbrushes with nylon bristles were first developed in 1938. However, toothbrushes made from other materials existed long before that. In China for example, bristle toothbrushes existed as long ago as the 15th century. Materials first used included hair from hogs, horses and badgers.

Interest in whitening teeth dates back centuries. One unfortunate ancient procedure included filing teeth down and bathing them in nitric acid. As you can imagine, this quickly led to extensive tooth decay! About 400 years ago Egyptians created a whitening paste using ground pumice stone mixed in wine vinegar. Ancient Romans whitened their teeth using urine (yes you read that correctly). The ammonia in the urine was the bleaching agent. In more recent times it was noticed that hydrogen or carbamide peroxide gels designed to treat inflamed gums also whitened teeth!

Everyone’s teeth are uniquely different. Just as with fingerprints, even identical twins can be distinguished by their teeth.

In order to raise awareness of dental problems, a dentist in China has built a tower 8 feet high that is comprised of 28,000 human teeth!

Donkey milk was used in ancient Greece as a mouthwash. In other areas in the middle ages it was thought that dogs teeth boiled in wine made an excellent anti-cavity rinse.

Ever wonder how much saliva (spit) people produce? Over a lifetime, humans create 10,000 gallons of saliva, enough to fill up two swimming pools!

A sneeze can launch mucus droplets out of your mouth and nose at over 100 MPH, landing over 30 feet away.

Tooth decay is the most common disease in the U.S. after the common cold.

In the state of Vermont it is technically illegal for women to get false teeth without written permission from their husbands.

A bizarre and radical procedure offers hope to cure blindness. Osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis or “tooth in eye” surgery for short, is a procedure in which an individual’s tooth is combined with the skin from his or her cheek to create a manmade lense which can restore vision.

Though he didn’t have a modern toothbrush or toothpaste, the ancient skeleton of “Kennewick Man” found in the Tri-Cities in 1996 was cavity free, signaling a diet low in sugar and starch.

Chris Cassinelli, R.D.H.