Changes to your teeth – birth to adulthood

Changes to-your teeth birth to adulthood

Throughout our life we have two sets of teeth – a temporary set as children then our permanent teeth we go through adulthood with.

Our teeth go through many changes on top of this.

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Baby teeth

As children, we have 20 teeth – also known as our primary teeth. This includes the teeth types:

  • Four first molars
  • Four second molars
  • Four lateral incisors
  • Four cuspids
  • Four central incisors

Two of each tooth type are located in the mouth’s upper arch and two in the lower arch.

Permanent teeth

When you reach adulthood you usually have 32 permanent teeth, which include:

  • Four wisdom teeth/first molars
  • Four second molars
  • Four first molars
  • Four second bicuspids
  • Four first bicuspids
  • Four cuspids
  • Four lateral incisors
  • Four central incisor

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Teeth function

  • The best teeth for biting and tearing: are central incisors and lateral incisors used for cutting, while the canine is used for tearing food.
  • The best teeth for grinding and crushing: premolars, molars and wisdom teeth are mostly used for chewing and grinding food to be eaten.
Teeth structure

Each tooth is made up from three parts; the crown, neck and root.

The crown is the visible part of the tooth that we can see when we talk and smile.

The tooth is connected via the root, which extends through the gum into the jaw’s bone.

The area between the crown and the root is called the neck.

Teeth through ageing

As you grow older, it becomes harder to keep your teeth healthy.

Over time your gums may recede while you also become more at risk for gum disease – this is increased even more if you smoke and drink alcohol.

This means you should continue to care for your teeth in the best way possible, with regular brushing, flossing, and check-ups at your local dentist.

Click here to read more about changes to teeth through ageing.

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