About Teeth

a typodont model wearing traditional metal braces

What’s special about Clifton & Mauney is that our doctors and staff are specialized in not only regular orthodontics, but pediatric dentistry for the communities of Chapel Hill, Durham and Hillsborough as well. We know the ins and outs of children’s teeth and we definitely know that their sweet tooths can kick in and be the cause for those pesky little cavities! However, just because those teeth are going to fall out anyways isn’t a reason not to get them checked and treated.

Primary (Baby) Teeth vs. Secondary (Permanent) Teeth

Believe it or not, everyone has two sets of teeth within their mouth. The first set is the primary, or baby, teeth, which appear at about 6-8 months, and are fully visible by age 3. These primary teeth total 20 in all, and by age 5 or 6, they slowly fall out one by one because of the permanent teeth that are pushing behind them.

The second set of teeth is the secondary, or permanent, teeth. Permanent teeth are our adult teeth that most kids have by the age of 12 or 13. There are 32 permanent teeth in total, and four of them are called wisdom teeth, which grow in the back of the mouth, and are usually extracted since not many adults have room for all 32 teeth.

Types Of Teeth

We all have different types of permanent teeth, which all serve different functions for when we eat. Your front four teeth are called incisors, and you have four on the top of your jaw and four on the bottom. These teeth usually make first contact when you bite into something such as a noodle or an apple.

Next to your incisors are your canines, also known as your pointy teeth. You have two on the top and two on the bottom, and they help tear food apart.

The next side teeth are your pre-molars or bicuspids, which are bigger and stronger than your incisors and canines. Their purpose is to crush and grind your food. Finally, in the way back of your mouth are your molars which are the toughest, both wider and stronger than your premolars. Molars grind up your food even further than premolars do, preparing it for your tongue to be swallowed down your throat.

Contact our Chapel Hill Office Today!

Permanent teeth are your teeth for life after you lose all your baby teeth, so it should be your priority to keep them clean and cavity-free. However, it’s important to keep your baby teeth just as healthy, to keep your mouth pain-free. Request an appointment to get your dental hygiene in check ASAP!

If you have any questions about the primary or growing secondary teeth, feel free to contact us or give us a call at (919) 933-1007. We hope to meet you and your kids very soon!