Have you ever wondered why our biology gives us two sets of teeth?
Both sets of teeth (baby teeth and adult teeth) have their purposes and differences. Your McAllen pediatric dentists would like to explain how your teeth differ from those of your growing children.
Our Teeth Through the Ages
Baby teeth, also known as milk teeth or primary teeth, begin to erupt when a baby is around 6 months old. Most parents will remember the teething process and how distraught their babies were when their teeth started bursting through their tender gums.
At about 6 years of age, your little one should start losing their baby teeth and begin growing out their permanent teeth. There are essential reasons to our anatomy for growing and losing baby teeth before we get our permanent teeth.
Five Differences Between Baby Teeth and Permanent Teeth
The differences between baby teeth and adult teeth go beyond receiving a little cash from the Tooth Fairy. Both sets are equally important and uniquely different.
The following are the five main differences between your teeth and your kid’s teeth:
1. Amount of Teeth
One of the most obvious differences between the two sets of teeth is the quantity. Once a child’s teeth start to grow at 6 months, they will end up with 20 teeth before they start to fall out. Their set of baby teeth is made up of 2 front teeth on the top and 2 front teeth on the bottom (central incisors), then the four teeth that surround their front teeth (lateral incisors), 4 canine teeth, or “vampire teeth” as most kids refer to them, and 8 molars.
Most adults with healthy teeth have 32 permanent teeth.
2. Measurement of Teeth
You probably already guessed that the size of the teeth is a big difference between adult and baby teeth. Along with the size of teeth, there is a major difference in shapes as well.
Baby incisors are more squared in shape and have a flatter surface for biting. When adult teeth grow, the biting service has ridges that help the teeth erupt from the gums. Adult molars also have more indentation on the surface than child molars.
Adult teeth have an abundance of enamel that your children’s teeth lack. This thick layer of enamel protects the adult teeth from deteriorating and acquiring cavities.
Children’s teeth are vulnerable to decay since they are more delicate and have less enamel.
4. Color of Teeth
Permanent teeth are not as white as baby teeth when they first grow. If your child has a permanent tooth growing next to a baby tooth, you should be able to notice the color difference.
Thankfully, once all their permanent teeth grow in, the color should look even in their smiles.
Believe it or not, permanent teeth and baby teeth have distinct purposes. Although they do serve some of the same functions such as eating and speaking properly, your baby teeth play a critical role in the development of your oral health.
Most parents often wonder about the effects baby teeth have on permanent teeth. If you remember getting reprimanded for excessively playing with a loose tooth when you were a child, it is for good reason.
Your baby teeth lead the path to where your permanent teeth will erupt. Although playing with a loose tooth won’t have as much of an impact as an injury where a tooth is broken or falls out, all of these things can cause the spacing of your teeth to shift.
Healthy permanent teeth keep your mouth functioning smoothly. This is why it is important to implement a good oral care routine for your children.