Totally Cool Fact about Your Fangs

Alright surfers, it’s spooky season and we want to test your knowledge on facts about your fangs! You chew with them, you keep them clean and you know how important they are to your daily life, but how much do you really know about the anatomy of your teeth?! Do you really understand their multi-purposes, why you get a toothache or how they grow?!

Read on to hear about some of the more interesting fact about your fangs.

Tooth anatomy

To start with, teeth are one of the hardest tissues in our bodies. They are essential to our chewing and processing our nutrition, but also well a key factor in our learning to talk. The word dentist is related to the name of the bony material in teeth called dentine. The inner portion of the tooth is made up of blood vessels and nerves. These densely packed nerve bundles come up from the gums through ‘canals and extend up into the cap of the tooth through horn-shaped passages. Within these horns, and at the tips of the nerves, are cells called odontoblasts which produce the liquid predentine and mineralize it into the hardened mature dentine. The nerve cells in our teeth are more densely packed in this fluid than anywhere else in the body. Let that soak in for a moment! 

When the balance of fluids in these areas are surrounded by the hard dentine they are fairly insensitive. However, exposure through wear on your tooth, high temperatures, high sugar or salt solutions, mechanical exposure or disease can drain or displace liquid and expose these nerve bundles and make them sensitive to every touch, movement or temperature change. This explains why a toothache can feel so urgent so suddenly! Once this delicate balance has been disrupted within teeth it means the delicate receptors will respond to all manner of stimuli. Oowchie!

Two Sets of Teeth

Teeth formed in children ages birth to 3 are called deciduous teeth, or milk teeth, and there are 20 total (10 in each jaw.) These early teeth are, actually, already formed in a child’s mouth at birth. However, they only begin to push through as early as 4 months in some babies. These early teeth can vary in shape and size. Though they begin to fall out around 6 years old, these teeth serve a very important function. They hold space in the developing jaw for the permanent teeth, and they are the essential beginner set of teeth as children are learning to talk. Drooling actually helps baby’s gums, and using bottles past the eruption of the first tooth leads to tooth decay. From the ages of 6-18 the dentition, our permanent teeth emerge pushing out the baby teeth. Of these, there are 32 (16 in each jaw.) Each tooth is in a section of the mouth suited to a different purpose.

Teeth Are Not Tools

Teeth should only be used to chew food! Teeth are not meant for opening things or breaking things like tools are, but in some ways, they are like a tool. They have certain characteristics that are perfectly designed for different foods. The front teeth are called the incisors and have a sharp biting surface.

These teeth are meant for cutting food into little pieces. The pointy sharp teeth at the corners, or front sides of the jaw, are called the canines. These teeth are the gripping and ripping teeth. They are mostly used to eat meat. At the back of the mouth are the premolars and molars. These teeth are flat on top and are best suited for grinding up fibrous foods like vegetables and grains.

Be sure to keep those fangs pearly white even with the temptation of Halloween candy coming your way. Stay tuned for info on our 2017 candy buyback promotion!


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