Science and Tech
You Won't Guess Which of These Strange Science Pics Was Taken in Space

Marshall Lemon | 28 Nov 2014 17:00
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dental plaque

Here's a hint: This in your mouth right now.

Yes, that's dental plaque, the reason you'll need to brush your teeth two to three times a day for the rest of your life. It's a biofilm generated by a multitude of bacteria that sit around on your mouth, helped along in no small part by remnants of the food you eat. This particular close-up is of a matrix of saliva and bacteria secretions (ie bacteria poop) that are a regular part of your eating habits every single day.

Here's another fun fact for you: The teeth are the only part of the human body that doesn't have a regulated shedding system. That means if you don't brush, that plaque will keep growing and growing, quickly making your mouth home of the most diverse biofilm in the body. That said, there has been some speculation that plaque may be a defense mechanism, preventing deadly pathogens from getting access to your body.

However, that's not an invitation to avoid cleaning your teeth, since not doing so usually means losing them altogether. Something to keep in mind before brushing and flossing.

In fact, take a look at the next picture while I step out to do that right now.

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