Thursday is blog day, and today Rose has a special blog for you about teeth.
Of course, being a dentist she is more qualified than me to tell you about teeth! I’m just her little helper, making sure that children around the world get to benefit from what she has to offer! Yes, yes - I’m a tooth-fairy, but I use teeth to build castles with, not eat!
So, let’s get on with it and find out what each of your primary (baby) teeth are for, when they grow into the mouth (erupt) and when they fall out (shed). We will also find out where they are located in your mouth (Moms and Dads, you may have to read this to or with your child – there are some big words in here that can be difficult to pronounce. I did my best to help with that, though)!
A Brief History of Teeth
Thousands of years ago people ate mostly meat like animals do. But, as we evolved, our jaw changed shape and size. Our teeth were worn down from eating hard foods - trying to crack shells and nuts, for example. But as we learned to grow food and store it, the need for long sharp animal-like teeth lessened, until we find the teeth we have today.
This is called evolution and it’s happened to all species living today, to help us live a better life, as life around us changed quite dramatically over time.
There are two sets of teeth: primary (baby) teeth, and permanent (adult) teeth. As the ‘baby’ teeth are shed, the adult teeth erupt into the mouth. This set will remain with us for a lifetime, provided we take care of them.
In this blog, we will discuss primary teeth.
What is each group of teeth for?
Please refer to the chart below for eruption and shedding timelines.
The incisors are found on the top and bottom jaws. They are the four ‘front teeth’, and they are used for cutting. Of the four incisors, we find the ‘central incisors’ and the ‘lateral incisors’.
The canines are found either side of the lateral incisors. They are also found on both the top and bottom jaws. They are used for holding food between the teeth, and also for tearing foods like meat.
Molars are used for chewing food. Chewing with these teeth, mixed with the saliva in our mouth, makes the food softer and easier to digest. They are found on the top and bottom jaws, starting alongside the canines.
But teeth are not only used for eating. A secondary yet important benefit of teeth is that they help us to pronounce words. Without our teeth, pronunciations for words like these would not be possible.
As your child starts to show signs of teething, you can use this chart to determine the relevant stages with accuracy.
We hope this blog has helped you as you continue to raise your wonderful child! Remember that oral-health and dental-care are vital in children, to ensure that their teeth grow as they are meant to without difficulty. You can also prepare them for their first visit to the dentist by reading Rose’s book ‘My First Visit to the Dentist’ with them.
If you have any questions about the blog above, don’t hesitate to drop Rose a line or leave your question in the comments below.
Until next time, keep shining,
Sasha and Rose ~