How much do you know about what’s going on inside your mouth? We use our teeth for talking, eating, and smiling, but do you know what function each part serves? Here are the different teeth parts and what they do for you every day:
The Crown – This is the part you see when someone opens their mouth. The crown’s shape is what determines the function of the tooth. Incisor teeth have fairly sharp edges and a chisel shape, for cutting food. However, the molars have smoother, flatter surfaces as their purpose is to grind food.
Gum Line – The place where the teeth and gums meet is called the root. This is the area that can suffer from a build-up of plaque without proper brushing and flossing. Accumulations of tartar and plaque on the gum line can lead to gum disease or bad breath.
The Root – Where the tooth meets bone is known as the root. This is the largest part of a tooth and accounts for two-thirds of the tooth. The root holds the tooth firmly in place.
Dentin– The inside of a tooth is called dentin. It sits underneath a protective layer known as enamel. Dentin is a yellowy/orange colour and covers the soft pulp in the centre of the tooth. If decay penetrates the dentin layer, there are millions of openings for bacteria to reach the pulp and infect it.
Enamel – The hardest substance in the human body, enamel makes up the outer layer of a tooth. It is the white, shiny coating you see when you smile. Although it’s incredibly tough, it is still vulnerable to decay from bacteria caused by plaque.
Pulp – The soft, mushy centre of a tooth is called the pulp. This is where you’ll find nerves and blood vessels. If decay reaches the pulp, the many nerves there mean you’ll most likely be in pain. If you’re looking for General Dentistry Leicester, SJR Dental provide general dentistry services in Leicester
Different types of teeth
Each individual tooth has a different job to perform:
Canines – Not just for dogs, humans have canines too. These are the teeth with pointed ends, useful for tearing up food. You could also refer to them as your ‘fangs’.
Incisors– With sharp edges and shaped like small chisels, these are the teeth that cut food into smaller pieces. The average human has four on the top row and four on the bottom.
Premolars– These teeth sit just in front of the molars and contain two pointed edges on the surface for tearing and squashing food.
Molars – These are the bigger teeth that sit towards the very back of your mouth. They have a larger, flat surface for chewing.
We all know that brushing our teeth helps prevent all manner of complications, but what toothpaste should we use?
Using a toothpaste with the correct levels of fluoride is important. This information will be readily available on each tube of toothpaste.
- Ideally, adults should use a toothpaste that contains at least 1,350 parts per million (ppm) fluoride.
- Contrary to popular belief, children don’t need a special ‘child’s toothpaste’. Children can use any toothpaste with between 1,350 and 1,500ppm fluoride.
- Children less than 6 must have a paste with at least 1,000ppm and under 3, just a small smear of toothpaste is all that’s required.