Facts about teeth that will make you appreciate them even more.
One of the amazing facts about teeth is that the average American spends a total of 38.5 days over the course of their lifetime brushing their teeth.
There’s good reason for this! While many consider the entirety of the human body to be a miracle, teeth are even more extraordinary than most parts. Not only do they assist in speech, food consumption, and general appearance, but they also have always been evolving to meet the needs of the human race.
Here, we’re going to tell you some of the most interesting facts about teeth so that you can understand their importance and intrigue. Read on for some reasons that you should be in awe of your mouth!
1. Teeth come in incrementally.
If you’ve spent any time with a baby, you’ll have noted that their teeth don’t all come in at once. However, what you may not have noticed is that they come in multiple stages. Interestingly, the development of teeth doesn’t begin at birth—it begins about six weeks into the mother’s pregnancy!
During gestation, the basic substance of the new baby’s tooth begins to form. In order for this to happen, the mother must consume an appropriate amount of calcium (which makes up bones), phosphorous, as well as vitamins C and D. Then, after three to four months of pregnancy, the hard tissue that surrounds the teeth begins to form inside the baby’s gums.
The next step occurs after the baby is born. A few months after birth, the teeth will begin to grow through the gums. As you can imagine, this causes a lot of discomfort as it’s happening, but it’s a totally natural stage of life. These baby teeth will be lost within the first 10 or so years of the child’s life to make way for the adult teeth that they’ll have forever.
2. Humans get two sets of teeth.
Speaking of having teeth forever, every person only gets two sets of teeth in their lifetime: their baby teeth and their permanent adult teeth. Adult teeth come in as a person grows up because the baby teeth become too small for the gums. The adult teeth push them out and grow in much harder and stronger than the baby teeth were.
There are 32 permanent teeth, including four premolars and six molars in each arch of the mouth. Most of these will be in your mouth by the time you’re around 12, but there are a set of four teeth called ‘wisdom teeth’ that don’t come in until your late teens or early 20s.
Because you will only get one set of adult teeth, it’s crucial that you take care of them appropriately. This means brushing and flossing twice a day, visiting the dentist regularly, and treating any tooth or gum issues as soon as they arise. Remember that teeth are a rare miracle, and they’re something that you need in order to live a thriving life!
3. There are four main types of teeth.
In the human mouth, there are four kinds of teeth.
The first of these tooth types are called incisors. These refer to the eight teeth in the center of your mouth, the four on the bottom and four on the top. These teeth are used to bite into food and are the main feature of a person’s gorgeous smile. They’re also the first adult teeth that children tend to develop, which shows how important they are!
The next teeth in your mouth are called canines. There are four of these teeth in your mouth, and they lie next to your incisors. Their primary purpose is to rip food, especially meat, apart. Many scientists have cited the development of incisors as evidence that humans were made to eat meat.
Premolars sit beside your canine teeth and are used for grinding and crushing the food that you eat. While all the other teeth we’ve talked about so far are sharp and good for tearing into things, premolars are completely flat. They act as tools for grinding up the food that you eat so that you can have an easier time swallowing and digesting.
Your molars are similar to premolars in that they grind and crush food, but they’re larger. In fact, they’re the biggest teeth in your mouth! Their large and flat biting surface makes them necessary for chewing.
Without all four types, we wouldn’t be able to speak or eat as effectively as possible. Clearly, humans have evolved some really cool and unique oral features over time to help us survive.
4. Teeth adapt to their owners.
Speaking of evolution and adaptation, teeth adapt over time to become perfect for any species.
Humans are natural omnivores and many people point to the teeth as evidence of this. Animals with diverse types of teeth tend to be omnivores because there are different types of teeth needed to eat meat versus plants. People have both—the canine teeth are similar to the sharp fangs of carnivores like cats and snakes, while our premolars and molars have flat surfaces for grinding plants as herbivores do.
Human beings are, of course, not the only kind of animal whose teeth have adapted to their diet. In the past, many dinosaurs that snakes and birds evolved from were herbivores. However, as their diets changed, the animals adapted to have large canine teeth that were meant for tearing meat apart. If you do a little online research, you’ll note that animals who live in areas where there are many plants to eat have flat teeth while those who live the lifestyle of predators have sharp teeth.
It’s great science!
5. Dental health equates to overall health.
Studies suggest that having good dental health leads to positive overall health. This might be one of the most important facts about teeth. People have linked cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and endocarditis to oral health complications, among other less common diseases. Stopping harmful bacteria in the mouth is essential to halting their progression towards the heart and lungs, so brushing and flossing often are necessary.
If you begin to notice tooth decay—a totally natural part of life—then you may want to consider getting dental implants. Replacing missing teeth actually saves your remaining beautiful, natural teeth. It stops the spread of decay and therefore stops bacteria from building up in the mouth.
Beyond Facts About Teeth
While the human body is a miracle in and of itself, your teeth are one of the most amazing and interesting parts of your body.
Now that you know some amazing facts about teeth and why it’s crucial that you take care of them appropriately, it’s time to look into getting dental care. Schedule an appointment with our oral health professionals for any issues that you may want to rectify. Whether you simply want routine care and cleaning or whether you think that dental implants might be right for you, our experts have your back (and your mouth).