Our Teeth (guide to healthy teeth)

Our teeth

Why do we have teeth?

They do different jobs, when you are eating they cut up and chew the food you eat. When you talk and make noises, they assist in those noises.  And very importantly they shape your face, your facial shape is altered without teeth. Teeth are so important and need to be healthy teeth.

Our teeth come in four different types;

  1. Our Canine teeth are next to the Incisor teeth and tear the food while holding it.
  2. Incisor teeth cut up the food and are in front of your mouth and are sharp for that job.
  3. At the back we have the Molars, they are flat and double the size. Their job is to grind the food and chew, so the food we eat is broken down into smaller pieces that are easier to eat.
  4. We also have Pre-Molars, which are situated behind the Canine teeth, they are also flat and work to help crush your food.

What makes up my teeth?

Your teeth and connected in your mouth to your jaw, they are along the top and the bottom in a curved line. When you open your mouth you can see a white part or when you smile, this is commonly known as the crown.

The root of your teeth is under the skin of your mouth, which is called the gum and cannot be seen. The covering of your teeth is white and is called enamel. This enamel is very strong, actually it is the hardest thing we have as humans in our body, which is quite interesting, don’t you think? I guess it must do the hardest job. It basically protects your teeth, so has to be hard, otherwise your teeth would grind down.

teeth diagram


When do I get my teeth?

When you are six months old, you will get your baby teeth, your first set of teeth would have appeared. You will get 20 teeth first of all and this is by the age of 2.5. And after all that trauma, they fall out and begin to come out when you are 6 and this is to provide room for your permanent teeth.

By the age of 13, you will have all your permanent teeth and that will be 28 teeth in all. Your wisdom teeth, which are 4 additional teeth can appear  around when you are 18 up until you are 25. This makes 32 teeth in all. Having wisdom teeth does not make you smart :-).

As these 32 teeth are all you get, it is very important to keep them healthy, teeth can begin to decay as soon as they arrive, so please look after them.

Which foods and drinks are good and bad for your teeth?

Sugar is the biggest issue and I do hope you realise that already, and sugar is in food and drink, sometimes in very large quantities, also not good for your weight. Each time you consume food or drink, your teeth can be attacked for an hour by acids. These acids are the mixture of sugar and bacteria and create dangerous acidic plaque.

Therefore do not have food or drink that contains sugar between meals, if you need to eat or drink, select food and drink that is sugar free, give your teeth a chance and some time off from plaque attack!!

Some foods that do not attack your teeth are;

  • fruit
  • vegetables that are raw
  • plain popcorn
  • plain yoghurt
  • cheese
  • rice cakes
  • breadsticks
  • plain bagels
  • nuts
  • cereal (unsweetened)

And if you are thirsty, drink water or milk, both plain not fancy. Fruit juices are ok if you add water and have them with your meal. And it is better to drink fruit juice with a straw, this only allows so much plaque attack on your lovely teeth.

What is plaque attack?

Everyday a plaque sticks to your teeth, it is a creamy layer of germs (sounds horrible doesn’t it?). These germs do not cause harm but do attack your teeth. The acid in the plaque attacks your teeth and can drill a hole into your tooth drilling through the enamel, which if you remember is the hardest thing in our bodies. So plaque is very strong itself. This will cause tooth ache. If you get a hole or tooth ache, you should see your dentist immediately, they will fill the hole with a filling.


The best way to brush your teeth

To keep you gums and teeth healthy, they have to be cleaned with a tooth brush and this is to remove all the plaque. Teeth cleaning should be done twice a day as the plaque is still soft. It should become part of what you do everyday and you should be doing that by now.

  1. Twice a day is what is needed, in the morning and before you go to bed. You should use a fluoride toothpaste.
  2. Use a very small amount of fluoride on kids over 3.
  3. Don’t rinse your mouth, just spit, this retains the fluoride longer.
  4. Always select a soft to medium bristled brush and small to medium brush.
  5. Go to your dentist as they recommend.


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