You have 32 of them, they come in different shapes and sizes, they make you look young and most of all, they give a dazzling smile. Your teeth are one of the hardest and strongest structures in your body. Despite its importance, your pearly whites are often the most used, abused and underappreciated part of your body.
We, humans, have only two sets of teeth a primary dentition, aka milk teeth and a permanent dentition. This comes in major contrast to various animals like elephants, crocodiles and kangaroos who grow multiple sets of teeth for life!
What are the functions of two sets of teeth you wonder? Well here they are:
- Milk teeth or baby teeth are usually 20 in number and usually start eruption around 6 months of age.
- Permanent teeth or adult teeth are 32 in number and usually, begin eruption about 6 months of age.
The importance of teeth in your body is as follows:
The most important function of the teeth is obviously for chewing food. Lack of proper chewing means lack of proper nutrition which results in poor growth and development.
Teeth are necessary for the pronunciation of certain sounds and thus aids in speaking. Lacking certain teeth can leading to speech impediments such as lisping.
Teeth and the chewing function help to exercise the facial muscles and thus aid development of the jaw bones and facial features.
And finally, good looks! You may notice that your lips and cheeks are supported directly on your teeth, without them or even with missing teeth facial muscles can sag creating a sunken in appearance.
Often parents have a tendency to treat baby teeth as being dispensable since we all know there will be a second set of adult teeth replacing them anyway. This callous attitude is wrong as these teeth have the same importance as an adult dentition. The concept of “if it hurts then pull it out” is now long gone from dentistry, with many new and innovative techniques available for treatment of even the most adversely affected teeth. With microscopic dentistry and various surgical procedures, saving your tooth is now a matter of choice not chance. Save your teeth, as there is no perfect replacement for a natural tooth. Make it your sole responsibility to care and nourish your teeth; be it healthy or weak, because after all, you have only a few of your own.