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Fun Facts for Kids – We Speak the Tooth – 3 Silly Dental Sayings to Share with Your Patients and Staff

May 2nd, 2017
we speak the tooth title card

Yeah, we’ve all heard them, those popular sayings that have to do with teeth. Maybe the lack of dentistry back in the dark ages made teeth quite the topic of conversation; whatever the reason, a number of ‘toothy’ sayings are still with us today and have some interesting history to go along with them.

 

1. “Long in the tooth” dates back to the 16th century and related to horses because as they age their teeth continue to grow. These changes and characteristics of their teeth make it possible to estimate a horse’s age. As an obvious reference to getting older, it’s fine to say such things about a horse, but it certainly isn’t flattering when talking about humans!

 

2. We’ve all done this at one stage in our lives: “bit off more than we can chew”. Thinking we can do it all, but actually putting ourselves in a bit of a predicament with an overloaded schedule. Funny enough this saying’s meaning is quite literal. Dating back to the 1800s when many Americans chewed tobacco, eager ‘chewers’ literally bit off too large a chunk of tobacco and couldn’t manage it, and so the saying was born. Gross!

 

3. If you’ve ever faced a difficult situation, maybe something you weren’t looking forward to or even something that scared you, you have likely used the phrase “time to bite the bullet”. Your meaning being that you are just going to do it and get it over with.

Well, whatever the situation is that is causing hesitation it certainly couldn’t be as bad as how this phrase came to be. Prior to anesthesia, the only distraction or respite surgeons could offer patients undergoing surgery was liquor and putting a lead bullet between their teeth for them to bite away the pain – YE-OUCH!!

 

What other old tooth-related sayings can you think of? Try and get your patients to think of some during their next appointment.

 

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