What are all the different types of teeth and why do we lose our baby teeth?

Find the answer in Hallux's Dental Depositary!

Teeth might look smooth and white but there’s a lot going on under that surface!

The outer coating – the part you can see – is called the crown and it’s coated in tough enamel which acts like a shield.

Well, it has to be when you’ll be chomping through as many as a hundred thousand meals over your lifetime!

The next layer is Dentin. This is a softer material than enamel and acts as the last line of defence for the squidgy pulp where the nerve endings and blood supply run.

It’s these sensitive parts that cause toothache when a tooth has been injured. And then there’s the root that anchors the tooth to the jaw. As the root is not protected by enamel, if it gets infected, it needs immediate attention by a dentist.

One big question that is often asked is about the different size and shapes of teeth…

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Why do teeth look different to each other?

Well, that’s an easy one – it’s because they do different jobs. The teeth at the front of your mouth have a sharp edge – they’re called incisors and their job is to slice and cut. Great for biting into apples.

Your canine teeth sit next to your incisors. They have got a point to them – literally! The pointed tip is to help tear tough foods like meat.

Towards the back of your mouth, you’ll find your premolars and molars. These are flatter, bumpy teeth which help grind up lumpy food like grains and seeds.

And then hidden at the back, often under the gum, are your wisdom teeth. These are large and have a similar role to the molars. They’re left over from prehistoric times when our diet would have included a lot more rough stuff.

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What are baby teeth and why do they fall out?

A baby’s head and jaw is very small – there isn’t enough room for adult teeth.

Baby – or milk teeth – are temporary teeth which appear when babies are around 6 months old. You have 20 baby teeth – 10 on each jaw.

They stay with you until you are around six or seven when they start to fall out, to be replaced by 32 adult teeth which have been quietly growing under the surface.

All your adult teeth should be in place by the time you’re 14, except for your wisdom teeth which may appear any time from late teenage – or not at all!

And if you’re lucky the tooth fairy will give you some pennies – just don’t forget to put the tooth under your pillow at night!

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  • Your teeth have different names and different parts of your teeth do different things.
  • All your adult teeth should be in place by the time you’re 14, except for your wisdom teeth.

If you liked this, you’ll love Professor Hallux’s Body Podcast for Kids! It’s packed full of amazing stuff about the human body and has loads more info about your gnashers!

You can subscribe to the Professor Hallux podcast in Google or Apple Podcasts.

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Professor Hallux: The Human Body Podcast for Kids

Learn about the human body in this podcast - from brains and bones to ears and eyes!

 

Professor Hallux’s Dental Depositary was made possible with help from Philips Sonicare.

 

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