Even when the concept of time is abstract, cannot be touched or seen, man still somehow has managed to measure time in various ways. The ancient world fascinated by this great phenomenon used the sun in various ways, whereas the Egyptians used sun dials, others depended on the shadows it created with its movement. Interestingly, some people used the water clock, yet still, others created the hourglass to help mark the passing of time. In Africa, time was and is largely still marked by the seasons; dry and wet describe the past and present. So how many seasons you have lived is the time. Interestingly, some cultures, such as that of the Baganda in Uganda, may at times portion time based on the reigning king. So someone can say; ‘that event happened during the reign of King…’
One definite way of telling the passing of time is right in your face – literally! Just by looking at your teeth, yes, that bright smile that you are beaming out might just give away your well-kept secret (ladies you hear me) – your age! Usually in the youth, the front two teeth are usually longer and these may continue to recede as the days go by with all the gnashing and grinding of the food and at other times, as a result of being angry or stressed with the daily cares of life.
Your age can also be derived from studying your teeth size and the pattern in which they are laid out. These details are unique to you and are similar to fingerprints – only you can have them – how special is that? Teeth are able to last a significant time, even when the rest of you has ceased to be, they are a very reliable marker of time. Did you know that your teeth details are so elaborate that they can reveal, if you are a man or woman, where you come from (ethnically) what you mostly eat, your stress levels and some diseases? What you do for a living as well and if you play a musical instrument can also be seen in your teeth.
But how can they tell, these scientists? Because there are certain expectations for every stage of growth of your teeth, scientists, especially dental forensic ones, will identify and compare your tooth details to the standard ones and then tell your accurate age.
Lois Nakibuuka is an educator and counsellor