Why do baby teeth fall out

Have you ever wondered why we don’t have only one dentition? That is, why don’t we keep our first teeth, the so-called “baby teeth”, but why do they eventually fall out, making way for new ones? Or why don’t we have three tooth changes? This last one could be very useful when we have problems with the second set of teeth, isn’t it?

Parts of the tooth

In dentistry, we understand that teeth are structures made up of the crown and the root. The crown is the visible portion in the mouth and its arrangement is formed by the enamel (the outermost layer), the dentin and the pulp, commonly called the nerve. The root is inserted in the bone of the jaws and, unlike the crown, is composed of: cementum, instead of enamel, dentin and pulp.

Why do we change teeth?

All parts of our body develop to a greater or lesser extent during the growth period, which is influenced by mainly genetic factors. In the case of teeth, although we may think otherwise, once they are formed they do not grow any further. Their size is genetically determined. It should be noted that when the first teeth or milk teeth appear in the mouth they do not increase in size, only the root develops until it is perfectly adjusted and simultaneously the teeth “settle” in the arch.

As time goes by, the teeth are distributed in the available space along the jaws, which do increase in size until the patient finishes growing. In the case of children, their jaws are initially small and have little space to accommodate the teeth, which is why they gradually emerge. When the baby teeth are complete, they number twenty and are smaller than those of the second dentition, which number more than 32.

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As the jaws and the rest of the body continue to grow, the baby teeth would look a bit ridiculous in the already developed jaws. This is the reason for the progressive replacement of the baby teeth by the permanent teeth.

How many teeth do we have?

How can we explain that there are twenty milk teeth and thirty-two permanent teeth? The twelve new teeth that appear are placed in the arches, behind the last milk tooth and are the six year molar, the twelve year molar and the wisdom tooth. This is done on each side of both arches, for a total of twelve. The first permanent molar to erupt is the six year molar and is so called because it usually erupts at that age. Precisely because it is the first, it is also the most affected by caries.