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Understanding the importance of our teeth


I think in order to care properly for our teeth, we need to understand their importance and composition. It is with this reason in mind that I wrote this article.

Teeth help us to:

1. Chew our food properly. Teeth are part of the digestive system and are used to break food down into smaller parts for efficient digestion,which is essential for body growth and health.{{more}}

2. Speak properly (pronounciation and articulation). Pronunciation is basically controlled by vocal cord, but it needs to work with the teeth to pronounce accurately. A few letters cannot be spoken properly if we have crooked teeth or missing teeth e.g. “T” sounds like “D” if teeth are inclined towards inside.

3. Keep pleasant appearance. Teeth can keep our facial profile. Without teeth, our face will look collapsed. If teeth are kept healthy, our appearance will even be better. The confidence of healthy teeth adds to a beautiful and more frequent smile.

4. Reserve space for permanent teeth to erupt. Normally, underneath each deciduous (milk/temporary) tooth, there is a developing permanent tooth. Deciduous teeth reserve space for permanent teeth to erupt. When permanent teeth erupt, deciduous teeth will naturally fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth. If deciduous teeth are lost prematurely, the adjacent teeth will then move toward the empty space, leaving insufficient room for the permanent teeth to erupt. The permanent teeth may have poor alignment.

Two Sets of Teeth

In one’s lifetime we have two sets of teeth, i.e. one set of deciduous teeth and one set of permanent teeth. There are 20 deciduous teeth and 32 permanent ones. Deciduous or temporary teeth start erupting from the age of six months and by the age of 2.5 years to 3 years, all are in the mouth. Permanent teeth start erupting at the age of six years until the age of 13 years. Only the last molars come at the age of 18 to 25 years, which are called the wisdom teeth.

The tooth has two parts. One part is visible in the mouth and is called the crown. The other part, which is embedded in the bone, is called root. The outermost layer of the crown is called enamel, which is the hardest part of the body. Then comes the dentin and then the pulp, which has the blood and nerve supply of the tooth.

Types of Teeth:

The different teeth are given different names and they have different work to do.

1. Incisor – Front four upper and lower teeth are called incisors. These teeth help in incising (cutting) the food.

2. Canine – the corner tooth, which is sharp and helps to shear the food, is called canine. There are two in the upper arch and two in the lower arch.

3. Premolars – These are also called bicuspids or small molars. They come after canine. They are four in the upper arch and four in the lower arch.

4. Molars – These help in mastication (chewing) of food. They are six in the upper arch and six in the lower arch. The last molars are also called wisdom teeth.

Dental health is key.

Dr Keith John

Clinic: SVG Dental Corporation

Telephone: 784-456-2220

Cell: 784-526-0752