No, you can’t blame (most) tooth decay on your parents. But for crooked teeth, the story’s a little more complicated.
Can you blame bad teeth on your genes? Here's why the answer is not as simple as you might think.
Ancient whales, such as
Janjucetus illustrated here, used their sharp teeth to capture and process their prey.
Ancient whales were neither gentle, nor giants: they were smaller than those of today and judging from their teeth, a lot meaner.
Upper jaw of Paranthropus robustus, which lived 1.2-1.8m years ago.
Diet and disease leave characteristic marks on our teeth which can reman for millions of years.
Lida Ajer cave - a small but well decorated front entrance.
The evidence of a much earlier presence of humans in Indonesia was found more than 100 years ago. But only now has the age of the fossil teeth been accurately dated.
Teeth don’t lie.
Homo naledi seems to have enjoyed small, hard foods like nuts.
The edges of your lost tooth are sharp because when the root of the baby tooth is being eaten away, it tends to start from the middle of the root. That leaves a sharp edge behind when the tooth breaks off.
Nicholas, aged 6, was watching TV one day when his tooth fell out. He noticed that the bottom edge of the tooth was very spiky. Now he wants to know why.
The fossil remains which have caused all the consternation.
Jochen Fuss, Nikolai Spassov, David R. Begun, Madelaine Böhme/via Wikimedia Commons
The theory that humankind originated in Europe is an old one. It was abandoned in 1924 when the first Australopithecus was discovered in South Africa.
Upper teeth of a Neanderthal who lived about 40,000 years ago.
Anthropologists gather clues about how our ancient ancestors lived from their teeth. What will future anthropologists make of us based on the fossilized pearly whites we'll leave behind?
A reconstruction of Euchambersia with its venomous and ridged fangs.
SimplexPaléo/Alex Bernardini (alex-bernardini.fr)
CT scanning allows scientists to observe and "dissect" fossils digitally using computer software - and to uncover secrets that are hundreds of millions of years old.
All primates have opposable thumbs – and some flaunt these in the cutest way.
Courtesy of Lory Park Zoo
Much like the hair you carefully rearrange before a selfie, your cheek muscles and the accompanying smile date back about 250 million years.
The first teeth may have evolved from combination of scales and tastebuds.
We know all about World War I's terrible conditions, tactics, tear gas. But what about the teeth?
Toothpaste helps remove plaque to prevent decay and gum disease.
Choosing a toothbrush is relatively simple. But how on earth do you decide between the 50-odd toothpastes on the supermarket shelves?
This skull belongs to the carnivorous gorgonopsian therapsid Smilesaurus ferox which lived 255 million years ago.
Cradle of Humankind/Flickr/Wikimedia
Modern sabre-tooth mammals have their canines constantly on display. This allows them to seduce mates. But was sexual selection also an important phenomenon among our pre-mammalian ancestors?
Understanding the genetic origins of sharks' teeth could one day lead to new treatments for humans.
There have been number of short-lived Commonwealth funding programs for dental care in the past.
AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
PolicyCheck unpacks the detail and history of the Coalition's proposed dental health care policy.
The Beckhams are having none of it.
The former footballer hit back at criticism from the Daily Mail after his daughter was photographed using a dummy.
Will understanding more about the nanostructure of teeth mean the dentist’s drill will become endangered?
Toothaches and root canals loom large in the collective memory and the whine of a dentist’s drill conjures unpleasant memories for most. Tooth decay and cavities most commonly affect the enamel that protects…
Good teeth often correlates with good health. But one in five over-65s have lost all their teeth.
An Aussie smile is an instant indicator of socioeconomic status, employability and self-esteem. It’s also a predictor of physical health. So it’s shocking that Australians’ dental health has not improved…
Researchers have found that treating gum disease (periodontal disease) may reduce heart disease, diabetes and other conditions…