You use your teeth to bite, chew and talk countless times throughout your day. Unless something is bothersome, you probably don’t give your grill a second thought. So, with our compliments, gnaw on this enlightening list of ten things you didn’t know about your teeth – but guess what – your American Association of Orthodontists member orthodontist did!
1. A tooth can come into the mouth with a cavity.
2. A cavity is one of the few things the body cannot heal. It just gets larger with time, unless a dentist removes the decay and places a filling.
3. A tooth can grow in upside down, sideways or backwards.
4. Baby teeth hold space for the permanent teeth that follow – it’s important to hang onto them until they’re ready to come out on their own.
5. While we’re on the subject of baby teeth, they’re also called “deciduous” teeth – from the Latin word “decidere,” which means to fall off or be shed (like leaves from a deciduous tree).
6. Teeth by the numbers: we get two sets of teeth – 20 baby teeth and 32 (usually) permanent teeth – unless you get extra teeth (supernumerary teeth), or some teeth never develop (congenitally missing teeth). Thank your genes for extra or missing teeth.
7. Research suggests that some sweet flavors in e-cigarette liquids may increase the risk of getting cavities. (As if nicotine addiction wasn’t enough already.)
8. Back teeth are called “molars.” They are used for grinding food when you chew.
9. Diet soda and sports drinks can be just as tough on teeth as regular soda. Both contain acid. Acid attacks the enamel surface of your teeth and can lead to cavities. Some bottled waters and flavored bubbly waters can be acidic enough to cause cavities too!
10. The part of the tooth you see, the crown, is only about a quarter to a third of the entire tooth. The rest of the tooth is under the gums.
Now that you have mastered these tidbits about teeth, you can amaze your friends and family with your trivial knowledge. But your teeth are anything but trivial. Healthy teeth and gums are critical contributors to your overall good health. AAO orthodontists are ready to help you align your teeth and jaws for a healthy and beautiful smile. Visit an AAO orthodontist.
When you choose an AAO orthodontist for orthodontic treatment, you can be assured that you have selected a highly skilled specialist. Orthodontists are experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics who possess the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Locate AAO orthodontists through Find an Orthodontist at aaoinfo.org.