WE TALK A LOT WITH YOUR KID ABOUT TEETH, but not a lot about their tongue. Your tongue plays a vital role in your overall oral health! Did you know that your tongue is the fastest-healing part of your body? And without our tongues, we couldn’t speak, taste, or even swallow. So take a minute to have some fun with your kid exploring interesting tidbits about the human tongue!
Six Facts About The Human Tongue:
- The tongue is a special kind of muscle called a muscular hydrostatic. This means that it operates without any help from your skeletal structure, like an elephant trunk or octopus tentacle.
- Your tongue is a natural cleaner—it starts clearing out food on your teeth after eating.
- Not all of your taste buds are located on your tongue. About 10% of them are found on your cheeks and the roof of your mouth.
- Almost 50% of the bacteria in your mouth is on your tongue. That’s why it’s important to brush your tongue for fresher breath!
- Taste buds are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Those little bumps on your tongue aren’t taste buds—they’re called papillae.
- Some people have pierced their tongues since ancient times, but there are serious oral health dangers associated with doing so, including chipped teeth and nerve damage.
Time For A Little Fun
Most of time, talking about your teeth, dentistry and oral health is pretty serious. But once in a while, we need to have a little fun…
How many licks to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?
Since 1970, Tootsie Roll Industries has received over 20,000 responses from kids around the world answering that question. Answers range from 100 to 5,000, but the average is about 700. Purdue University actually enlisted the aid of a “licking machine” to determine the answer. While the machines averaged at 364 licks, the human control group averaged 252 licks.
Now, challenge yourself with some “tongue twisters”:
It’s YOUR turn!
- “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.”
- “The skunk sat on a stump. The skunk thunk that the stump stunk, but the stump thunk that the skunk stunk.”
- “Theophilus Thistle, the thistle sifter, sifted a sieve of unsifted thistles.”
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