DO YOU KNOW YOUR TEETH


You have as many as 20 teeth in your mouth! Those 20 teeth are called the "Baby Teeth" and as you grow up and become bigger and taller, these "Baby Teeth" loosen and become replaced by the "Adult Teeth". Adults have as many as 32 teeth. These "Adult Teeth" are the last set of teeth and cannot be replaced by another set of "Real teeth" when lost. That's why it is really important to keep your teeth and gums clean, and visit the dentist routinely to make sure they are in healthy condition. The American Dental Association recommends a dental checkup and cleaning once every six months.

The part of the tooth you see is called the crown. The rounded high parts of the back teeth are cusps. The hard white outer covering of the tooth is the enamel. Below the gumline, holding the tooth in the jawbone is the root of the tooth. You can’t see the roots. The inner portions of the tooth consist of the dentin, a bonelike tissue, and the pulp. The pulp is like a house for the nerves and blood vessels at the center of the crown and root.

Teeth have different shapes for different jobs. For example, when you eat, the upper teeth work together with the lower teeth of the same shape to bite, chew, and tear food. The names of these teeth are:

  • incisors There are eight incisors located in the front of the mouth (four on the top and four on the bottom). They have sharp, chisel-shaped crowns that cut food. 

  • cuspids The four cuspids are next to each incisor. Cuspids have a pointed edge to tear food.

  • premolars Also called bicuspids, the four pairs of molars are located next to the cuspids. They crush and tear food. 

  • molars There are twelve molars, in sets of three, at the back of the mouth. They have wide surfaces that help to grind food.





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