The Structure and Function of a Tooth and Its Surroundings
Teeth are divided into two parts: the crown, which is the
part of the tooth you can see, and the root which
usually can't be seen.
The crown helps you bite and chew food, and also helps you to speak properly and to give you a nice bright smile.
The enamel is the outer layer of the crown. It is the hardest substance in the body, even harder than bone, so it can protect the more sensitive inside parts of the tooth and last through a lifetime of chewing.
The dentine lies between the enamel or cementum and the pulp of the tooth. It supports the crown of the tooth and helps to protect the pulp.
pulp is at the centre of the tooth and it is what keeps the
tooth alive. It contains blood vessels and nerves
which enter the tooth from a hole at the bottom of the tooth's
The nerves helps you feel hot and cold things in your mouth and lets you know if something is wrong with your tooth.
The root can be seen as the 'anchor' of the tooth, as it helps the tooth stay in place. It is surrounded by the gum, which acts as a protective seal between the root and the surrounding bone. The surrounding bone helps to support and stabilise the tooth, by acting like a frame which the tooth sits within. The cementum is the outer tissue layer covering the root of the tooth and it helps the root attach to the gum and surrounding bone.
Teeth are mainly used for tearing
and chewing food. Imagine if you did not have any teeth. It would be quite hard
to eat a lot of different foods!
This would not only mean you could miss out on food you
really like, but also that it would be difficult to eat a variety of food and
get all the nutrients you need.Teeth are also important
to be able to talk properly and to give you a nice bright smile.
We get two sets of teeth during our lifetime, the primary (baby) teeth and the permanent (adult) teeth.
PRIMARY TEETH PERMANENT TEETH
As you can see from the pictures above, we have 20 baby teeth and 32 adult teeth. Baby teeth usually start coming through between six to 10 months of age, and will usually all be lost by 11-12 years of age. The first adult teeth start coming though between six and seven years of age and the last ones come through between 17-21 years of age, they are called the wisdom teeth.Adult teeth are the last teeth you will get and they will last a lifetime if you look after them!
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