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Reef Blog

Why Do We Lose Our Baby Teeth? Importance & Purpose of Deciduous Teeth in Development

Smile Reef

Have you ever wondered about your teeth? Most kids have been told those are the only teeth you are going to get so take care of them. This is not actually true because us humans get two sets of teeth. The first set are referred to as your deciduous or baby teeth and your second set are the adult or permanent teeth. If you compare this to parts of the animal kingdom it is not uncommon. Other mammals such as cats and dogs have the same situation that we do. When they are a puppy or kitten they are gumming their way through life. After a few weeks they have very sharp and fine teeth. They will soon lose these teeth and the adult teeth come on in. The second set is what they get for the rest of their life. If you look at marine life the tooth experience will look much different. Sharks for example lose teeth that will quickly be replaced with new ones. Most sharks have several rows of teeth that can come and go as needed. That is why if you buy a shark tooth necklace the odds that a shark was actually harmed are minimal. Shark teeth can be found along the ocean floor on a regular basis. We don’t get the same treatment with our teeth. We are more like a dog because we get only two sets.

Smile Reef Explains the Purpose of Baby Teeth in Our Development

How Many Teeth Do You Have?: This is sort of a trick question. There are other attributes and circumstances that determine how many teeth you have. If you want the general and most common answer then when you grow in your baby teeth, you will end up with 20! As those fall out you will then have a total of 32 adult teeth that are permanent. There are times that your adult teeth do not form and that leads to a gap that will need some dental work to close up. To know where your tooth development is at and what you can expect when your adult teeth come in a visit to the dentist is all it will take. They can take x-rays that show the teeth beneath the gums that are awaiting their arrival.
Why Do We Have Baby Teeth?: The question why we need baby teeth seem to be a good one. First off you are not born with any teeth that have advanced through the gum line. Over the course of the first few years of life teeth will emerge but we only have them for a short period relative to our lifetime. Most children will start to lose their baby teeth at about age five all the way through early teens. If baby teeth are just going to come out, then why are they necessary? When you are small your jaw is also small. The teeth that you need as an adult are specifically fit together to take care of your chewing and eating needs. As you grow, so does your jaw opening the space needed to grow in the larger permanent teeth. The baby teeth are your starter set that will act as a space holder. That is their main job and function.

Pediatric Dental Care

Smile Reef offers dental exams and procedures to care for baby teeth and determine the growth of permanent teeth. Contact us to schedule your next appointment today!

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Good or Bad? Are Fluoride Toothpaste & Treatments to Strengthen Tooth Enamel Safe for Babies & Toddlers?

Smile Reef

Tooth decay is incredibly common in children. As dental providers and parents, we want to do everything we can to avoid the little ones from getting cavities. Fluoride is one of the key ingredients to minimize cavities and strengthen teeth. Understanding the structure of teeth can help you get a better grasp on how fluoride is beneficial. We at Smile Reef would like to take an opportunity to discuss the importance of fluoride.

Tooth Enamel Definition

Enamel covers the outer layer of each tooth and is the most visible part of the tooth. Enamel protects teeth from the constant impact of daily use as enamel is the teeth’s outer layer. The enamel is strong and serves as a barrier to keep the nerves from feeling any kind of pressure when the kids eat foods, especially crunchy apples and carrots. In a nutshell, the enamel is the exterior casing of the tooth. Unfortunately, enamel is not invincible; over time it can wear away or even break apart and sustain damage.

What Causes Weak Tooth Enamel?

Children that eat a lot of sugar and drink soda regularly along with poor oral hygiene habits can experience a loss in enamel. As the enamel wears, the tooth will start to decay from the bacteria that settle on teeth and secrete an acid that attacks the tooth itself. The acid produced from the bacteria eats the enamel. As the enamel is weakened the acid will then start to deteriorate the tooth at a faster rate. A naturally occurring mineral that strengthens the enamel is fluoride. With the increased strength of the enamel, the acid cannot penetrate through it so easily, preventing tooth decay. Fluoride treatments are ideally recommended on an annual basis with your dentist, but children who are genetically prone to tooth decay may need more frequent fluoride treatments. The long-term oral health and longevity of children’s teeth can be better improved with stronger teeth.

Fluoride Treatments Strengthen Tooth Enamel

Fluoride treatments are especially simple and does not cause any discomfort for your child. The dentist will generally apply the fluoride directly to their teeth and after a short time, the fluoride will begin to strengthen the enamel; from there the fluoride is thoroughly removed. The fluoride does not cause any kind of irritation and has distinct smells or tastes. More often than not, the kids do not notice they are even getting a treatment and fewer ever complain about the treatment. The fluoride treatment is one of the most simplistic and beneficial treatments your kids will experience. It is recommended by experts that kids should visit their pediatric dentist once a quarter for those with extreme cases where kids are experiencing significant dental decay. But the average is fluoride treatments once or twice year. The frequency is really dictated by the child’s individual health of their teeth.

Enamel Hardening Toothpaste

To help ensure your children are getting fluoride treatments to strengthen the enamel, experts encourage parents to have the kids brush their teeth a fluoride enriched toothpaste. Doing so will further strengthen their teeth and augment the treatments performed by the dentist.

Pediatric Dentistry

If your child or children are due for their dental visit, schedule an appointment with Smile Reef today and during their routine exam we can discuss fluoride treatment and optimal ways you can incorporate it for your child’s oral hygiene routine.

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