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What is a tooth like?

The teeth in our mouth help us chew food and speak correctly. Moreover, nice clean teeth make a pretty smile.

Children have 20 teeth, including molars, distributed as follows. At 6 years of age, 4 permanent molars appear - one in each quadrant of the mouth. These are the only teeth that do not erupt a second time. It is therefore very important to take good care of them. Small children have so-called milk teeth, and these are soon replaced by new permanent teeth that can no longer be replaced. They must therefore be cared for, since they have to last us a lifetime.

A tooth consists of different parts: external or crown — the part we see — and internal or root, the part we cannot see because it is housed in the bone of the jaws. The enamel is the outermost layer of the crown. This part is very hard — even harder than bone. Beneath the enamel lies the dentine, which is not so hard, and beneath the dentine we find the dental pulp, which is sensitive to hot and cold foods, sweets or acids.

Some animals have no teeth (birds, for example), while others have a double row of teeth (like sharks). It all depends on what kind of food they eat. In this way, a crocodile, which spends its time eating big things needs good teeth, while a cow or rabbit (which eat grass), don’t need such big teeth. Teeth have different shapes because they have different functions: grinding, chewing, etc. And when eating, they have to function properly.

Mercè Mercè Camps. Pharmacist.