New teeth start to grow under the milk teeth. As the new tooth starts to grow, it pushes the milk tooth and makes it loose. Eventually the milk tooth falls out to make room for a permanent tooth. Some children lose their first teeth before they are five, others may be seven or eight.
Why do we need a second set of teeth?
The size and number of milk teeth are adequate for a young child’s needs. However, as we grow and our mouths get larger, the size and quantity of teeth are not adequate to meet our requirements.
Generally, the first permanent (adult) incisors emerge when a child is six or seven. Permanent molars come through at the same time, but these are entirely new teeth and do not replace existing milk teeth. We have a total of 32 permanent (adult) teeth. The wisdom teeth are the last molars to form.
What makes my teeth the colour they are?
The enamel of our teeth makes them white. Enamel is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance of the body. 96% of enamel consists of mineral, with water and organic material comprising the rest. If the enamel is thin, teeth will be less white because the dentine underneath (which is a yellowish bone-like material) will show through.
How are teeth needed in speech?
The most obvious purposes for teeth are biting and chewing, but teeth also play an important role in speaking clearly. To make the sounds associated with some letters we rely on our tongue making contact with the teeth, and for other letters, the tongue meeting with the roof of the mouth behind the front teeth. The importance of our teeth for speech is shown by the difficulty we experience in making a “th” sound with gaps between our two front teeth.
Try to say the following tongue twister without using your teeth.
A tutor who tooted the flute tried to tutor two tutors to toot. Said the two to the tutor,
“Is it harder to toot or to tutor two tutors to toot? “