Facts About Teeth

Teeth are necessary for chewing food. Primary (baby) teeth are also vital in younger children in speech development, while maintaining the space necessary for the permanent teeth. As a person’s appearance depends on the presence of the teeth, maintaining a healthy smile is desirable.

Background information

  • Between the ages of 6 months to 3 years children’s baby (deciduous) teeth erupt.
  • There are 20 baby teeth.
  • All of the baby teeth are normally replaced by permanent teeth between the ages of 6 – 13 years.
  • Wisdom teeth erupt between the ages of 17 – 21 years but not everyone gets them.
  • There are 32 permanent teeth.

Age that the teeth appear

1.    Primary (baby, deciduous) teeth

Tooth UpperLowerUpper
1st Incisor6 – 10 months8 – 12 months
2nd incisor10 – 16 months 9 – 13 months
Canine17 – 23 months16 – 22 months
1st Molar14 – 18 months 13 – 19 months
2nd Molar23 – 31 months25 – 33 months

2.    Secondary (adult, permanent) teeth

ToothLowerUpper
1st Incisor6 – 7 years7 – 8 years
2nd Incisor7 – 8 years8 – 9 years
Canine9 – 10 years11 – 12 years
1st Premolar10 – 11 years10 – 12 years
2nd Premolar11 – 12 years10 – 12 years
1st Molar6 – 7 yeas6 – 7 years
2nd Molar11 – 13 years12 – 13 years
3rd Molar (Wisdom Tooth)17 – 21 years17 – 21 years

Types of teeth and their functions

TeethFunction
IncisorsCutting
CaninesTearing
Premolars (permanent)Tearing and Chewing
MolarsChewing

teeth

The Structure of the Teeth

tooth

Enamel

The enamel is the whitish, outer shell that can be seen in the mouth. It is the hardest material in the body and is used to protect the layers below.

Dentine

This is the yellow layer beneath the enamel. This layer is softer, a bit like bone. It contains some of the nerve fibres in the tooth.

Pulp

The pulp contains the nerves and blood vessels that keep the tooth alive. The pulp can be damaged through decay or injury.

Gums

Teeth are separated from the jaw bone by the gums. They provide a shock absorber for the teeth.

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