Why We Lose Our First Set of Teeth

Private Dentists in LondonHumans and most mammals usually grow only two sets of teeth in their lifetime: the baby teeth and permanent teeth. Baby teeth, also known as deciduous teeth, begin to grow when a baby is between four to seven months old and begin to fall out when the child is around seven years old.

Even if they are not permanent, parents should help their children to care for their teeth, as healthy teeth are a crucial part of the child’s growth and development. Regularly visiting private dentists in London will help you care for your child’s teeth until they are ready to fall out on their own.

But have you ever wondered why we lose our first set of teeth? Why are we not born with our adult teeth?

Placeholders

Deciduous teeth are smaller and weaker than permanent teeth because they serve as placeholders for the adult teeth. The first set of teeth has already developed inside the jaw before the baby is born and erupt a few months after birth.

Since children’s jaws and heads are smaller than those of adults, they cannot hold as many teeth. There are only twenty deciduous teeth, which are later replaced by permanent teeth. As the child gets older, more teeth grow, including the wisdom teeth, which erupt between the ages of 17 to 25 years. An adult has 32 permanent teeth.

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Our baby teeth help us get the nutrition that we need as we age while leaving just enough space for our permanent teeth to grow in. If our baby teeth were our only set of teeth and were not replaced by larger, more numerous permanent teeth, gaps would develop in our mouth as our jaw continued to grow throughout childhood and early adulthood. These large gaps would make eating difficult. Thus, the perfect solution is to have one small, temporary set of teeth that are slowly replaced by larger, permanent teeth as we grow.

Child Nutrition

The primary function of baby teeth is to allow a child to eat solid foods. The teeth appear between 4 to 7 months old, which correlates with the average age a child begins to be weaned and eat solid food, at around 4 to 6 months old. Though the age at which children stop drinking breast milk varies, most children stop when they are fully able to eat solid foods.

Some animals, such as sharks and crocodiles, continuously replace their teeth throughout their lifetime. They expend a lot of energy hunting their prey, and losing teeth could affect their ability to hunt. On the other hand, most mammals, including humans, only need two sets of teeth because their teeth do not undergo the same amount of stress as the teeth of some predators. Cats, for example, use their claws to help them hunt rather than relying solely on their bite, as sharks do.

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Our baby teeth aid in our development, allowing us to eat nutritious food as we grow. This is the primary function of our baby teeth.

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