Dental Hygienist 12/01/2017

Your teeth and you

Most of us don’t really give our teeth a second thought, until something goes wrong! But we should, they play an important role in our day to day lives, they help us chew and digest food, help us to speak clearly and can have a direct impact on our overall health.

By finding out a bit more about your pearly whites, you can take a positive step towards giving your teeth the attention they deserve.

Teeth Development

Everyone has two sets of teeth, baby teeth and then permanent teeth, which develop from around 6 months with some people’s wisdom teeth not surfacing until their 20s.

Teeth tend to erupt in parallel, which means that the top molar on your left side should appear at about the same time as your top molar on the right side. Tooth development starts in the second trimester of pregnancy although teeth will not become visible for several months.

The 20 baby teeth are normally in place by the age of 3 and will remain until around 6 years of age when they will fall out to make way for the permanent set of teeth. Most adults will have 32 permanent teeth.

Breakdown of the tooth

The tooth is divided into two main parts the crown, the part visible above the gum and the root which anchors the tooth below the gum.

The tooth is made up of four kinds of tissue, each of which does a different job

  • Enamel – the visible substance that covers the crown of the tooth. Harder than bone, enamel protects the tooth from decay.

  • Dentine – underneath the enamel is the dentine which is calcified and looks similar to bone. Dentine is not as strong as enamel so is at risk of decay should it become exposed.

  • Cementum – This tissue covers the tooth root and helps to anchor it into the bone. Cementum is a light-yellow colour and is normally covered by the gum.

  • Pulp – Pulp is found in the centre of the tooth and contains the blood vessels, nerves and other soft tissues.

Types of Teeth

There are five different types of tooth, each had a slightly different shape and performs a different job.

  • Incisors – these are the teeth in the front and centre of your mouth, four on the top and four on the bottom. These are the teeth you use to take bites of your food.

  • Canines – you have four canines and these are your sharpest teeth. They are used to rip and tear food apart.

  • Premolars – these are used for chewing and grinding your food. You have four premolars on each side of your mouth, two on the upper and two on the lower jaw.

  • Molars – these are also used for chewing and grinding food. These do not replace but come in behind your baby teeth.

  • Wisdom teeth – these are the last teeth to develop and typically do not erupt until age 18 to 20. Some people may never develop them.

Caring for your teeth

It is very important that you care for your teeth.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste

  • Clean in between your teeth using inter-dental cleaning aids once a day

  • Attend for regular routine dental appointments

  • Eat a healthy diet

If you would like more help and advice on caring for your teeth, why not book an appointment with our hygienist who specialises in preventative dentistry and oral hygiene. Call Benfleet Dental Centre today on 01702 557766 to book an appointment.

Map of Benfleet Dental Centre

Visit the practice

Benfleet Dental Centre

8 Benfleet Road, Benfleet. SS7 1QB

Opening times

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:30
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday09:00 - 14:00*
*By appointment only