Teeth are an essential part of the human mouth cavity, helping one to chew food, speak clearly and smile. Also, a complete set of teeth help in providing the face with a good shape. Each tooth is attached to the alveolar bone in the jaw with the help of gums. Teeth are made up of 4 layers, namely enamel, dentin, pulp and cementum. The outermost layer is enamel which also happens to be the hardest substance in the body. Second is dentin, which is softer than the layer above. Then comes the pulp, which is composed of nerves and blood vessels. Cementum is the deepest layer and is beneath the gums.
Babies have a set of 20 primary or baby teeth. These start to emerge when the baby is 6 months old, and the whole set develops by the time one reaches the age of 3 years. These sets of teeth gradually fall out as the child grows, being replaced with 28 permanent teeth by the age of 14. On reaching the late teens or early 20s, an individual gets 4 more wisdom teeth, completing the natural set of 32 teeth. These 32 teeth are a composite of 4 types of teeth which can be categorised as:
Incisors: These are located at the front of the set and attributes to a person’s smile. They are flat and relatively sharp to allow the cutting of food into smaller pieces. There are 8 incisors in the mouth.
● Canines: Canines sit firmly next to the incisors, and look like small fangs. These help tear away food, mostly meat. There are 4 of them.
● Premolars: These are next to the canines, being bigger in shape and having ridges in the centre. Food is ground and chewed with these. There are a total of 8 premolars in the mouth.
● Molars: These are the biggest of all the teeth and are located at the end of the jaw. These serve the same purpose as the premolars and are 12 in number. The ones at the complete end of the jaws are called wisdom teeth.
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