Baby Teeth vs. Permanent Teeth: The Difference
Watching your child’s first tooth come in is an exciting milestone. Then before you know it, all of those tiny adorable teeth come popping through the gums. Usually this is around 6 months, but sometimes not until they are a year old or more. Every child is a little different in the timing of these baby teeth. Hopefully, those months of teething aren’t too difficult.
Everyone grows this set of important baby teeth, which will eventually fall out to make room for permanent ones. There are some differences in baby and permanent teeth to distinguish them from the other. Let’s look at some of the differences between these types from Dr. Sedaros, a leading oral surgeon in Melbourne, FL.
Number of Teeth
For baby teeth, children usually have 20 of them in total. They include eight molars, and four of each in canines, lateral incisors, and central incisors. These can also be referred to as primary teeth, since they come in before you get a set of adult or permanent teeth. The number of adult ones you’ll have is about 32.
The Shape and General Sizing Is Different
Baby teeth are much smaller than permanent teeth. Plus, the shape is more on the square-ish side, which is why some people joke that baby ones look like tiny little pieces of Chiclet chewing gum.
The biting edge of a baby tooth is flatter, unlike an adult tooth, that has little ridges called mamelons. These mamelons assist in helping the permanent tooth break through the surface of the gum easier when they come in or “erupt” through the gumline. The molars in adult teeth also have deeper grooves along the chewing surface, while the baby teeth are more shallow without this kind of texture in the enamel of the tooth.
Layers of Enamel
The layers of enamel in permanent teeth are thicker and more durable. Baby teeth tend to be softer with a thinner layer of enamel. Adult ones are more protected from this layer of enamel in preventing tooth decay. That’s why children sometimes have a tendency to develop cavities if they indulge in surgery foods and juices too often. Even though a baby is eventually going to lose those first teeth, it’s still important to protect them with proper dental hygiene.
Baby Teeth Are Pretty White
The set of baby teeth is whiter in appearance naturally than permanent ones. Sometimes you can tell the difference when you look at your child and see a combination of their primary and permanent teeth coming in next to each other. Don’t worry though, all of the coloring will even out when the full set has arrived usually by the time your child is around 13-years-old.
Both Are Important
The function of all teeth, not only helps you chew, but can also help you speak correctly. Baby teeth are essentially a placeholder for the permanent teeth to come in. Once a child is ready to get their adult teeth, the roots of the baby tooth dissolve to allow that tooth to fall out, and the new tooth to erupt through the gum.
Hopefully, everything will adjust correctly to have room for all of the adult teeth. However, this does not always happen. When an injury occurs to a baby tooth, in some instances, that adult tooth won’t grow correctly. That’s when you’ll need to consult with a dental surgeon in Melbourne, and the team at the office of Dr. Sedaros, if there are injuries to the teeth and surrounding structure of the mouth that need correction.
Contact Sedaros Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implants
If you or your child needs the services of a dental surgeon in the Melbourne area, give us a call or send us a message to schedule an appointment today. Our office specializes in oral facial surgery and dental implants.