it’s national toothache day

As solicitors representing dentists and other General Dental Council (“GDC”) registered dental professionals, we thought we’d have some fun on National Toothache Day and provide you with some facts about your teeth.

We’ve also added some more serious statistics released by the GDC in their 2014 annual report (come on, we are lawyers after all).

On with the fun facts first:

  • Did you know that no two people have the same set of teeth and that your teeth are as unique as your fingerprints? The same goes for your tongue.
  • We each spend around 38.5 days brushing our teeth in a lifetime
  • Only two thirds of your teeth are visible, the remaining one third is underneath your gums
  • In an average lifetime your mouth will produce two swimming pools’ worth of saliva helping to protect your teeth from bacteria and aiding digestion
  • Humans have four types of teeth. Can you name them?
  • Our baby teeth form in the womb although a baby only starts to ‘cut teeth’ when they are 6 – 12 months old
  • Enamel is the hardest part of the human body
  • If you are right handed you will tend to chew your food on the right side and if you are left handed you will tend to chew your food on the left side
  • Dental plaque is formed by over 300 different types of bacteria. Lovely.
  • If you don’t floss in between your teeth, you miss over 40% of the tooth’s surface
  • You should brush your teeth for two – three minutes twice a day. On average we only brush our teeth for 45 – 70 seconds a day
  • The average woman smiles 62 times per day whilst the average man smiles about 8 times a day. But happies of all are our children who laugh around 400 times per day as compared to adults who laugh around 15 times per day
  • In 1816 one of Sir Isaac Newton’s teeth was sold at auction for a whopping $3,600 (around £730). In today’s money this equates to around $35000 or £28000. It was then set into a ring and remains the worlds most expensive tooth according to the Guinness Book of Records

And for the animal lovers amongst us:

  • Giraffes only have bottom teeth
  • The tiny snail can have over 25,000 teeth whilst the huge Blue Whale, the largest mammal on earth has none
  • An elephant grinds its molars and then grows new ones. This happens six times in a lifetime.
  • An elephant’s molar measures 7 inches square and weighs over 6 pounds
  • Crocodiles have their own tooth brush. The Crocodile Bird flies into the crocodile’s mouth and cleans it’s teeth
  • Dogs have 42 teeth, cats have 30 teeth and pigs have 44 teeth.

And finally for the statistics released in the GDC’s 2014 annual report (the most recent report available):

  • In 2014 there were 41, 038 dentists registered with the GDC.
  • In 2014 there were 65, 275 other dental professionals registered with the GDC
  • By the end of 2014, 3,222 cases of potential impaired fitness to practise had been assessed by the GDC at the triage stage
  • By the end of 2014, 1,012 cases had been considered by the Investigating Committee (now replaced by the Case Examiners)
  • 403 of these cases were referred to one of the GDC’s Practice Committees.
  • In the Professional Performance Committee in 2014, 1 dental registrant was erased with immediate suspension, 3 registrants had conditions imposed on their registration and the fitness to practise of 3 registrants was found not to be impaired
  • In the Professional Conduct Committee for the same period, 32 dental registrants were erased from the dental register with immediate suspension, 1 dental registrant was erased without immediate suspension, 23 dental registrants were suspended from the dental register with a review hearing to follow, 11 were suspended with no review, 3 were suspended indefinitely, 41 received conditions on their registration, 14 were reprimanded, impairment of fitness to practise was found in the case of two dental registrants but no further action was taken, fitness to practise was not found to be impaired in 24 cases, no misconduct was found in 11 cases and no case to answer was found in 2 cases
  • In the Health Committee for the same period, 8 dental registrants were suspended, 4 were suspended indefinitely, 5 dental registrants received conditions on their registration, the fitness to practise of 3 dental registrants was found not to be (or was no longer) impaired and 1 case was adjourned.

Happy National Toothache Day!

If you are a dentist or GDC registered dental professional facing investigation by the GDC, give one our specialist team a call today on 0161 827 9500.