About Teeth

Throughout your life, you will have two sets of teeth: primary (baby) teeth and permanent teeth. Most people will have a total of twenty baby teeth, ten in the upper arch and ten in the lower arch. At around age 6-8 months, the primary teeth start to appear; all twenty are in place by age 3.

Permanent teeth will begin to come in around age 6, and except for wisdom teeth, are all present between ages 12 and 14. Wisdom teeth typically begin breaking through from age 17 and on. The total number of permanent teeth is 32, though few people have room for all 32 teeth. This is why wisdom teeth are usually removed.

Your front teeth are called incisors. The sharp "fang-like" teeth are canines. The next side teeth are referred to as pre-molars or bicuspids, and the back teeth are molars. You only get one set of permanent teeth. Your permanent teeth are the ones you keep for life, so it is vital that they are brushed at least twice a day and flossed regularly and that periodic check-ups by a dentist are followed.


What causes cavities? Do bad teeth run in families? If mom and dad have bad teeth are their children doomed? These are excellent questions that we get asked every day. Cavities are caused by the germs in the mouth which we all have. A simple explanation is that the germs in the mouth feed on sugary stuff and produce an acid which makes holes in the teeth. These holes are the cavities.

For your children to end up getting cavities you need three things: teeth, the mouth germs and sweet foods or drinks. If you get rid of the mouth germs and the sweet stuff, they will not get cavities. This, I guarantee! There is not much you can do about someone with "weaker" teeth. However, the best thing you can do to prevent cavities is to get rid of the cavity bugs by brushing twice a day and not feeding the bugs sweet stuff all day! This means no juice, especially apple or grape, no flavored milk, no Gatorade, no candy, no chocolate… I think that you get the point, no sugary stuff in between meals. If the cavity bugs do not eat, they can't cause cavities. Yes it's really that simple! Your child does not have to inherit dental problems. It is a scientific fact that the ONLY difference between children with many cavities and those who have none is the diet! It does not matter if their teeth are not as strong. So help your child out, keep the sweet stuff to a minimum.