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Ben is all of six months old and has begun teething. In a month’s time, his lower central incisors will erupt from the gum and become the dental pioneers of his mouth. But it will not be before seven years that Ben will sport his first permanent teeth that will stay with him for the rest of his life.
The calciferous structures in our mouth, called teeth, are absolutely fascinating. You have the hard outer enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body and then there is a pulp, which, as the name suggests, is very delicate. Teeth are literally hard on the outside but soft on the inside! But there is more to them than that. In this post, MomJunction acquaints you to various interesting facts and trivia about teeth and their development. Here we go!
Fun Facts About Teeth:
Do you want to know how many teeth do kids have, when do they lose teeth, and at what age? Here are some amazing teeth facts for kids from the world of dental health. See how many you know:
- Teeth begin their journey even before the baby is born. The first tooth-like organ develops in the womb when the fetus is just six weeks old (1). These embedded proto-teeth are still soft and mushy – far from the robust choppers and grinders, we know.
- Human teeth are translucent (2). This means the enamel (outer-most layer of the tooth) absorbs some light while reflecting back the rest. Yes, teeth can absorb some light!
- Primary or milk teeth are whiter than permanent teeth (3). Enamel in children’s teeth is thinner and has more opaque hydroxyapatite crystals – the building blocks of enamel. No wonder your munchkin’s smile always looks bright.
- The teeth on the upper jaw generally erupt one to two months after the complimentary tooth has erupted on the lower jaw. The upper jaw is, thus, always late.
[ Read: How To Teach Child To Brush Teeth ]
- Primary teeth seem to have a lot of space between them. This is because they are smaller than permanent tooth. Permanent teeth are quite crammed together.
- When permanent teeth erupt, they have wavy edges, which smoothen over a period through wear and tear. A new permanent tooth resembles a shark tooth but only for some time.
- On an average, females tend to sprout teeth before males do. Ladies first!
- Every human has a unique bite impression, which means we all have unique teeth alignment (4). This makes teeth as good as fingerprints for identification.
- Primary teeth help in the development of speech in children (5). Thanks to their arrival, your little one can be quite a chatterbox!
- High sugar diet causes bacteria in the mouth to produce lactic acid that is so powerful that it can literally dissolve the enamel to the core (6). Yikes!
[ Read: Chocolate Facts For Kids ]
- Tooth decay is among the most common disorders in the world, second only to the common cold (7).
- Third molar or wisdom tooth is the last to arrive. But did you know some people have at least one wisdom tooth missing while some never have a wisdom tooth at all (8)!
- The tooth enamel can withstand a bite force as high as 1000 N (9). If there was the toughest human organ competition, your teeth would win the contest hands down.
- When a child develops cavities because of sleeping with a milk bottle, then the cavities are referred to as ‘nursing caries’. It happens among one or two-year-olds (10).
- If a primary tooth has to be removed due to decay or damage, then the permanent tooth may never come out at its place. An intervention by a dentist would be required for its eruption (11). Therefore, take care of those primary teeth even if they are temporary visitors.
[ Read: Tooth Decay In Children ]
Interesting Information About Teeth In Children:
16. When do kids get teeth?
Your child’s first teeth appear anytime between six to ten months of age. The two central incisors on the lower jaw are the first teeth to appear followed by their upper jaw counterparts that appear between eight to 12 months of age. They, thus, make the first primary/milk teeth of your little one’s life.
17. How many milk teeth does a child have?
Children have 20 milk teeth by two-and-a-half years of age. Milk teeth are also known as the baby, primary or deciduous teeth.
18. When do kids lose baby teeth?
Your child will lose his baby teeth at different stages of his life. He will lose his first tooth between six and seven years. Here is a table of the schedule of eruption and shedding of teeth:
Primary teeth of lower jaw in order of eruption:
|Central incisors||6-10 months||6-7 years|
|Lateral incisors||10-16 months||7-8 years|
|First molars||14-18 months||9-11 years|
|Canines||17-23 months||9-12 years|
|Second molars||23-31 months||10-12 years|
Primary teeth of upper jaw in order of eruption:
|Central incisors||8-12 months||6-7 years|
|Lateral incisors||9-13 months||7-8 years|
|First molars||13-19 months||7-8 years|
|Canines||16-22 months||10-12 years|
|Second molars||25-33 months||10-12 years|
As noticed in the table, second molars are the last set of primary teeth to appear, both in the lower jaw and the upper jaw. They are also the last set of primary teeth to fall.
19. How many teeth do children lose at a time?
A child may lose one tooth or a pair of teeth of the same order at a time. This means your child may lose one canine first and then second later or both together. During an age range, the child may lose a set of teeth anytime, so do not be alarmed if he loses teeth in random succession.
20. Why do children lose their baby teeth?
Children lose baby teeth as a way to make more space for the permanent teeth that are larger in size and more in number. Permanent teeth stay lodged inside the skull of the child, which means they are always there. They just wait for the skull to grow big enough to accommodate their larger size and once the time is right, they descend into their slot. When a permanent tooth moves into a slot, it pushes outward the primary/milk tooth. This milk tooth starts loosening and slowly falls out of its place, completely replaced by a permanent tooth.
21. Do many children have missing teeth?
There could be instances where a child may never sprout a primary tooth. It is a condition called hypodontia and can affect a single tooth or a pair of complementary teeth. There is a high probability that if a child does not have a primary tooth, he may never have a permanent tooth in its place.
However, the condition is harmless per se but can lead to aesthetic issues such as impacting a person’s looks. Beyond that, it may lead to certain other issues such as chewing difficulties, constrained pronunciation development, and in extreme cases, stunted bone growth around the root of the tooth.
These can be addressed through orthodontic interventions where a set of artificial teeth can be attached in place of the missing teeth. Hypodontia is quite uncommon, and genetics is often cited as the prime reason for this condition (12).
22. What to do when baby teeth fall out?
A primary/baby tooth will fall on its own, and you need not do much. Just wait for it to fall. Do not advise your child to yank at a loosening tooth or pull it by brute force. This can cause infection in the gums, in addition to a lot of pain.
23. What happens to the roots of baby teeth?
The roots of the baby tooth are eroded and dissolved by the permanent tooth underneath. It is nature’s way of ensuring the process is less complicated and less painful. The roots of the baby tooth only dissolve when the permanent tooth beneath is ready to erupt and starts pushing on the baby tooth. When the baby tooth finally falls out, you will not see any roots and will only see the crown.
24. When do permanent teeth emerge?
The first permanent teeth appears between the age of six and seven years, and these are the lower central incisors. All 20 primary teeth are replaced with a permanent version. The eight premolars and four third molars (wisdom teeth) are the only teeth that do not have a primary teeth version and erupt directly as permanent teeth.
[ Read: Abscessed Tooth In Child ]
Here is a table of the schedule of permanent teeth eruption:
Permanent teeth of lower jaw in order of eruption:
|Central incisors||6-7 years|
|First molars*||6-7 years|
|Lateral incisors||7-8 years|
|First premolars||10-12 years|
|Second premolars||11-12 years|
|Second molars*||11-13 years|
|Third molars (Wisdom teeth)*||17-21 years|
Permanent teeth of upper jaw in order of eruption:
|First molars*||6-7 years|
|Central incisors||7-8 years|
|Lateral incisors||8-9 years|
|First premolars||10-11 years|
|Second premolars||10-12 years|
|Second molars*||12-13 years|
|Third molars (Wisdom teeth)*||17-21 years|
* Teeth that do not have a primary teeth version and erupt only as permanent teeth. Permanent premolars replace the primary molars.
Permanent teeth eruption problems:
Here are some basic problems that your child may face during the eruption of the permanent teeth:
- Teething pain: This commonly happens when the permanent molars emerge from the gums, which do not replace primary teeth and break open the gums to come out. This can cause teething pains similar to what your child had as a baby, only this time he is vocal about his pain.
- Premature eruption: Sometimes the permanent tooth may erupt while the primary tooth is still intact. Usually, the permanent tooth erupts alongside the primary tooth thus giving the mouth an overcrowded appearance.
- Impacted teeth: This happens when the eruption of a permanent tooth is blocked due to unmoved primary tooth or some other issue in the gums. The permanent tooth may still erupt but will be tilted in a particular direction causing pain and discomfort.
- Ectopic dental eruption: Due to lack of space, a permanent tooth may randomly erupt on parts of gums thus causing this condition.
[ Read: Importance Of Dental Hygiene For Kids ]
In all these cases, it is best to take your child to a dentist for a diagnosis and treatment.
25. When do kids get molars?
Looking at the table above, you may wonder do kids lose molars or do they erupt as permanent teeth? In the case of molars, the primary molars are replaced by permanent premolars, while the permanent molars appear behind them. This means molars do not have a true primary teeth version and erupt as permanent teeth around the age of six to seven years. Many parents assume this to be primary teeth but are actually permanent teeth. Therefore, it is important to take good care of them. The wisdom teeth are the last to appear and may appear as late as 21 years.
26. When do kids stop losing teeth?
Your child will stop losing any teeth by the age of 13 years.
27. Do permanent teeth fall?
Unlike primary teeth, permanent teeth do not fall. The penultimate set of permanent teeth to appear will be the second molars. There will be a significant time gap between the emergence of the second molars and the wisdom teeth.
Those are some amazing facts about teeth. Which one fascinated you the most? Do let us know by leaving a comment below.
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