Wild (and sometimes risky) world records

Looking at world records is always fascinating. There are more records than you may imagine, with feats that make you wonder “how did someone do that?” and others that make you think, “why would anyone want to do that?” But some of the records, especially the wackier ones, can create unintended health risks. With that in mind, let’s examine a few current world records related to oral health.

Heaviest ship pulled by teeth: 614 tons

Set on October 30, 2018, in Chornomorsk, Ukraine, by Oleg Skavysh

Oleg “Tug-Tooth” Skavych is a strongman and pediatrician – quite the combination! He set this record to raise awareness for children suffering from cancer.

Should I try this at home? Please don’t. Holding and moving non-food items with your mouth can cause damage to your teeth and gums, even items as small as a sewing pin. You can chip or crack your tooth enamel, loosen your teeth, scrape or cut your gums, or cause other damage that will require a visit to the dentist.

Most people brushing their teeth at once: 26,382

Set November 7, 2019, in Bhubaneshwar, India

Now this is a record we can get behind! Four years ago, this event was arranged by the Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry and their partners to promote the importance of dental hygiene and lifelong oral health habits.

Should I try this at home? If you have 26,000 friends and a lot of extra fluoride toothpaste, have at it! But it’s more practical to just stick with a healthy daily brushing routine of twice a day for two minutes each time.

Most bottle caps removed with teeth in one minute: 68

Set September 17, 2011, in Bangalore, India, by Murali K.C.

This record was no spur-of-the-moment feat. Four eyewitnesses, local media, and a video camera all captured Murali’s record-setting feat, which was planned in advance.

Should I try this at home? No way! Opening any container with your mouth can cut your gums, chip your teeth, or damage your tooth enamel. Use a bottle opener or another tool instead.

Most apples held in mouth and cut by a chainsaw in one minute: 28

Set November 30, 2020, in Dezhou, Shandong, China, by Wang Lei

Wang Lei, a professional acrobat and performer, set the record because he wanted to show people something they had never seen before.

Should I try this at home? No. This seems self-explanatory, but just so we’re clear – chainsaws and teeth simply don’t mix. However, it is great to eat apples without the power tools. Crunchy fruits and vegetables are good for your teeth because they stimulate saliva production, which washes away debris and helps keep your mouth clean. Apples also provide vitamin C for strong teeth and gums.

Most ice cubes moved by mouth in one minute: 54 ounces of ice

Set on March 4, 2017, in Augsburg, Germany, by André Ortolf

André is a serial record holder, with more than 100 world records to his name.

Should I try this at home? This one doesn’t seem as harmful, but ice can be surprisingly risky for your teeth. Chewing or biting down on ice (which seems inevitable for this record) can damage your tooth enamel, loosen a crown, and chip or crack a tooth.

Bonus world record: Most tennis balls held in the mouth by a dog: 6

Set February 23, 2020, in Canandaigua, New York, by Finley Molloy

We just wanted to give Finley some credit for his hard work. Good boy, Finley!

The main takeaway: World records are fun to read about, but we don’t recommend you pursue one unless you are sure there won’t be any risks to your oral and overall health. Instead, set a personal record for clean teeth and gums by brushing twice and flossing once, each and every day!

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