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Parts of a Tooth

Ped FlossingHave you ever wondered what makes up a tooth?  Knowing the different parts of a tooth and its structures can help you better understand how to keep your children’s teeth healthy!

Each tooth has a crown and root.  The crown is the part of the tooth you can see in the mouth and the root is the structure below the gums.  As children prepare to lose their baby teeth, the roots of the teeth resorb or “melt away”, which is why when those primary teeth become wiggly and the lost tooth seems small!

Enamel is the white, shiny surface that covers the crown of the tooth.  Did you know, enamel is the hardest mineral substance in your body – even harder than bone!  While very strong, enamel is susceptible to wear and decay when damaged by acids from certain foods, drinks, and the bacteria that lives in plaque.  Too much damage to the enamel may result in decay. Minerals like Fluoride help prevent cavities by keeping this outer surface of the tooth strong.

The surface of the tooth below the enamel is called the dentin.  Further into the center of the tooth is the pulp.  The pulp chamber contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue.  If bacteria nears the pulp chamber, there is a high risk of an abscess or infection.  The sooner a cavity is detected, the better the chance for tooth restoration.

So, what can you do to help keep the surfaces of your children’s teeth strong and healthy?  Make sure they are:

  • Brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing daily
  • Visiting the dentist every 6 months for a check-up
  • Avoiding sticky foods and acidic drinks that break down enamel

We are excited to see your children at their next visit!

— Blair Mawhiney