This holiday season is the perfect time to show gratitude for the 32 little friends that live in our mouths. Did you know?

1: We take approximately 10,000 bites per meal. With a minimum of three meals per day, that equates to 30,000 chews per day. And, if one consumes more than three meals or chews gum often, then their teeth are working overtime. It is not easy being a tooth.

2: Teeth, if kept healthy, help to prevent risk for serious conditions or disease such as strokes, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and more.

3: Cheese and wine can ward off decay. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), red wine contains chemicals (proanthocyanidins) that may help stop bacteria from sticking to teeth, and according to Colgate, cheese helps ward off cavities by making saliva more alkaline.

4: The average person spends 38 days brushing their teeth during their lifetime. That’s just one month plus of loving care during one’s typical 71-year human life span.

5: Over the centuries, and before modern toothpaste, people scrubbed their teeth with a variety of rough, unfavorable ingredients. This included: powdered ashes of oxen hooves, crushed myrrh, burned egg shells, powered pumice stone, crushed snail shells, pepper, rock salt, talc, and iron rust.

6: Every person has a distinct, unique set of teeth, fingerprints and even tongue print. In fact, identical twins, which one would think would have the same set of teeth, do not.

7: Dogs have 42 teeth, pigs 44 teeth, opossums 50 teeth and snails thousands.

8: Wisdom teeth were useful to our ancestors, who relied on their teeth to grind up food. As technology and teeth have evolved, there is less of a need for wisdom teeth. In fact, 35% of people are now born without wisdom teeth and the number may dwindle over time.

9: The average Elephant’s tooth weighs over 6 pounds and measures one foot across. It is appreciated that human teeth are reasonable in size.

10: Children smile 400 times a day, but adults only smile 20 times a day. According to several studies, smiling can reduce stress on the body and mind, improve one’s mood and may boost productivity.  Gosh, I think we need to smile more!

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