Like most parts of our body, the teeth also has growth story. But teeth grow in a slightly different manner than the other body parts. Unlike other parts of the human body, teeth grows, they fall and grow again and in many cases fall again in old age. How does all this happen? Teeth have a lifecycle of its own, something that dictates its growth and fall. Let’s take a look.
How Teeth Develop and Grow
In The Mother’s Womb – Teeth start to grow even before birth right in the mother’s womb. Within six weeks of conception, small buds start to line up the lower and upper portions of the mouth which eventually form the jaws. There are 10 buds on top and 10 buds on the bottom.
At Birth–When a child is born, his teeth lie underneath the gums and are invisible. But the frontal teeth are already formed in babies, just that they are not seen.
2-3 Months – When a child is two to three months old, the painful process of teething begin. This is the time when the teeth start to protrude out of the gums – the process is known as erupting. It is generally a very painful time for the child and restlessness and frequent crying are a few indications of teething.
6-14 Months – Between the 6th and 14th month, all the baby teeth fully come out of the gums. The first set of teeth to come out are the incisors or the front teeth. The color of the baby teeth can vary from child to child but generally they are either bright white in color, slightly yellowish or blue – the blue color is a result of thin outer layer of dentin and enamel and a larger pulp made of nerves and blood vessels. There is nothing to worry about the different shades of teeth color – the colors are simply based on genetics. What’s more important is the overall health of the teeth.
6 Years Old –As a child grows time for the baby teeth to come off approaches. By the time a child is 6 years old, baby tooth begin to loosen and fall. Though baby teeth eventually fall off, it’s very important to keep them healthy while they last. That’s because the baby teeth serve as space holders for the permanent teeth. Losing baby teeth prematurely is not a good sign. It could lead to crooked teeth in the future.
12-13 Years Old– By the time the child reaches the age of 12 or 13, all the baby teeth fall off and are replaced by permanent teeth.
17-21 Years Old -After the teething period, this is another painful phase is a person’s life. During this time, the third set of molars, called the wisdom teeth start to grow.
Unfortunately the modern human jawbone cannot accommodate this new set of molars giving rise to several painful problems, such as impaction and infection. Nowadays most people have their wisdom teeth removed.
Adulthood – Beyond the age of 20, you can have multiple problems with the teeth. Cavities are one of the most common problems which are the result of the enamel wearing down due to excessive chewing. As you grow old, you also tend to produce less saliva thus washing away lesser bacteria. Naturally the teeth become brittle.
There are of course several ways to keep the teeth in good condition. Brushing twice daily and flossing once a day is very important for keeping the teeth healthy. Bi-yearly visit to the dentist is also important to keep the teeth in good condition.