All About Your Permanent Teeth
As a dental office, we see teeth all day long. Every person is unique, but a smile is something they all share. Infant teeth are different than adult teeth in size, shape, number and more. An adult will have around 32 teeth while a child will only have around 20 teeth. Those teeth fall into categories such as incisors, canines, premolars and molars. Each tooth has a specific function in the mouth, as do your tongue, gums, and even saliva. It’s important to know about your smile and why you need to have all your teeth for it to function properly. There are over 120 million people that have a missing tooth in the United States alone. Every tooth is vitally important for your oral health and overall wellness. Find out more about your baby and permanent teeth today and what you can do to keep them healthy for life.
People aren’t born with teeth immediately. That should be no shocker to most people. Much like everything else a baby must develop, their teeth also come in with time. Their smile is different than an adult smile with permanent teeth as well. Babies start to have teeth come into the mouth anywhere between 4-6 months of age. Those teeth continue to come in up until age 3, when all the teeth should be in the upper and lower jaws. First, the front teeth come in such as the incisors, then some of the molars will come into the mouth and the canines, and so on.
Babies should have a total of 20 teeth, or 10 teeth in the upper jaw and 10 teeth in the lower jaw. These teeth are not permanent teeth, so they will eventually fall out of the mouth. You might notice that a child’s teeth are not fit snugly together. The jaw is continually growing, so the teeth are spaced out to make room for the permanent teeth to come in.
One a child loses their baby teeth, the permanent teeth will start to grow in. This whole process of losing baby teeth and receiving permanent teeth can begin around age 6 or 7 and go up until ages 12-14. It all depends on the child and their genetic makeup. The permanent teeth are called that for a reason: they are permanently in the mouth unless, trauma, tooth decay, gum disease, or age take them away from you.
The average adult has about 32 permanent teeth in the mouth. Some adults only have 28, which depends on how many wisdom teeth a person has. Some have all 4 (giving us the number of 32 teeth), while others have no wisdom teeth. Each mouth is made up of incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Those are the teeth in order from the front teeth moving towards the back of your mouth on the upper and lower jaws. Adults have 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, and 12 molars on average.
Tooth Loss in the United States
As an adult, you may have many permanent teeth, but that doesn’t mean you have any to spare. You need every tooth in the mouth to have good oral health. Sadly, tooth loss is on the rise in the United States. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that adults have an average of only 25 remaining teeth out of the original 32. The American College of Prosthodontists also reports that over 120 million people are missing at least 1 tooth and that 36 million in the U.S. don’t have any teeth at all.
Missing even one tooth is incredibly damaging to your oral health! Once one tooth is lost, that part of the jawbone becomes weaker as do the gums. This causes even more teeth to lose support and fall out. Prevent tooth lost at all costs, and seek help right away if you do lose a permanent tooth.
Keep Your Smile Intact with Help
If you’ve lost a tooth recently, then one of your best options is to receive a dental implant. Dental implants are a restorative dentistry option that allows patients to replace their missing teeth with a custom-made one that looks like your natural teeth. This is a long-lasting option to keep the area of your mouth sturdy if tooth loss has occurred.
We prep for your dental implant by inserting a metal post into the jawbone where a tooth was lost. Once this post heals in the jaw, and when it is sturdy, we provide you a custom-made tooth secured to the top of the post. We match the tooth to the color and shape of your smile. Others won’t know you have a dental implant, but you will know because of the strength and support an implant gives you. For patients who take good care of their implants, they can expect to keep them anywhere between 10-20 years.
Good Oral Hygiene for Life
Remember, the best way to keep your smile healthy is to take care of it day and night through proper oral hygiene habits. Brush your teeth several times a day and floss them each day as well. Come in to the office at least twice a year to check up on your smile so we can detect if there are any oral health issues. If you are due for your comprehensive exam and dental cleaning, call Dr. Ania’s office today at (303) 872-9940!