February is National Children's Dental Health Month poster

How important are your teeth?  Very!  They help us chew our food, speak properly, and give us a friendly smile! When you look at your smile in the mirror you only see part of your teeth.   

A tooth is basically made up of two parts: the crown and the root. The part that sits above the gum line is called the crown. The root part, which is about 2/3rds of the tooth’s length, is below the gum line. The enamel is the white covering of the tooth that protects it from the wear and tear of chewing.  Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, even harder than your bones. 

People get two sets of teeth in their lifetime.  Around six months of age a baby will get its first tooth.  New ones will keep popping through their gums until they have 20 baby teeth in all.  At about six years of age those same teeth will start to fall out and permanent teeth will take their place.  Adults have 32 permanent teeth. 

Losing a baby tooth is an exciting event for children. In America when children lose a baby tooth they leave it for the tooth fairy to collect it and exchange it for money.  Other countries have different customs regarding the loss of a baby tooth.   That lost tooth may be thrown in the fire, buried in the ground or even collected by a rat or mouse. 

Did you know that the most common childhood disease is tooth decay?  To keep your beautiful smile and keep your teeth healthy all your life it is important to take care of them, and that is easy to do Just remember to brush your teeth morning and evening, and floss once a day.  Visit the dentist twice a year for a check-up and a cleaning. Eat healthy foods and avoid sugary foods and drinks. 

Girl brushing teeth
Dental exam of little boy
Did You Know?

When a hippopotamus opens its mouth, it looks like they have only have 4 teeth, but they really have 40 teeth!  

The Blue Whale only eats tiny shrimp because it has NO teeth! 

An Elephant’s tusks are really teeth that never stop growing. 
Sharks have multiple rows of teeth.  If they lose a tooth they can regrow a new one to replace it.   
Snails have 25,000 teeth (located on their tongue)! 

Crocodiles get their teeth cleaned by a bird that flies into their open mouth and cleans their teeth.  Brave bird!