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Deciduous teeth

Deciduous teeth

Overview
Deciduous teeth, otherwise known as reborner teeth, baby teeth, temporary teeth and primary teeth, are the first set of teeth in the growth development of humans and many other mammals. In some Asian countries they are referred to as fall teeth as they will eventually fall out, while in almost all European languages they are called milk teeth. They develop
Tooth development
Tooth development or odontogenesis is the complex process by which teeth form from embryonic cells, grow, and erupt into the mouth. Although many diverse species have teeth, non-human tooth development is largely the same as in humans...

 during the embryo
Embryo
An embryo is a multicellular diploid eukaryote in its earliest stage of development, from the time of first cell division until birth, hatching, or germination...

nic stage of development and erupt—that is, they become visible in the mouth
Mouth
The mouth is the first portion of the alimentary canal that receives food andsaliva. The oral mucosa is the mucous membrane epithelium lining the inside of the mouth....

—during infancy.
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Encyclopedia
Deciduous teeth, otherwise known as reborner teeth, baby teeth, temporary teeth and primary teeth, are the first set of teeth in the growth development of humans and many other mammals. In some Asian countries they are referred to as fall teeth as they will eventually fall out, while in almost all European languages they are called milk teeth. They develop
Tooth development
Tooth development or odontogenesis is the complex process by which teeth form from embryonic cells, grow, and erupt into the mouth. Although many diverse species have teeth, non-human tooth development is largely the same as in humans...

 during the embryo
Embryo
An embryo is a multicellular diploid eukaryote in its earliest stage of development, from the time of first cell division until birth, hatching, or germination...

nic stage of development and erupt—that is, they become visible in the mouth
Mouth
The mouth is the first portion of the alimentary canal that receives food andsaliva. The oral mucosa is the mucous membrane epithelium lining the inside of the mouth....

—during infancy. They are usually lost and replaced by permanent teeth
Permanent teeth
Permanent teeth are the second set of teeth formed in humans. There are thirty-two permanent teeth, consisting of six maxillary and six mandibular molars, four maxillary and four mandibular premolars, two maxillary and two mandibular canines, four maxillary and four mandibular incisors.The first...

, but in the absence of permanent replacements, they can remain functional for many years.

Description


Deciduous teeth start to form during the embryo phase of pregnancy
Pregnancy
Pregnancy refers to the fertilization and development of one or more offspring, known as a fetus or embryo, in a woman's uterus. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations, as in the case of twins or triplets...

. The development of deciduous teeth starts at the sixth week of development as the dental lamina
Dental lamina
The dental lamina is a band of epithelial tissue seen in histologic sections of a developing tooth. The dental lamina is first evidence of tooth development and begins at the sixth week in utero or three weeks after the rupture of the buccopharyngeal membrane. It is formed when cells of the oral...

. This process starts at the midline and then spreads back into the posterior region. By the time the embryo is eight weeks old, there are ten areas on the upper and lower arches that will eventually become the deciduous dentition. These teeth will continue to form until they erupt
Tooth eruption
Tooth eruption is a process in tooth development in which the teeth enter the mouth and become visible. It is currently believed that the periodontal ligaments play an important role in tooth eruption...

 in the mouth. In the deciduous dentition there are a total of twenty teeth: five per quadrant and ten per arch. The eruption of these teeth ("teething
Teething
Teething is the process by which an infant's first teeth sequentially appear by emerging through the gums. Teething may start as early as three months or as late, in some cases, as twelve months. The typical time frame for the first teeth to appear is somewhere between six and nine months...

") begins at the age of six months and continues until twenty-five to thirty-three months of age. Usually, the first teeth seen in the mouth are the mandibular centrals
Mandibular central incisor
The mandibular central incisor is the tooth located on the jaw, adjacent to the midline of the face. It is mesial from both mandibular lateral incisors. As with all incisors, its function includes shearing or cutting food during mastication, commonly known as chewing. There are no cusps on the...

 and the last are the maxillary second molar
Maxillary second molar
The maxillary second molar is the tooth located distally from both the maxillary first molars of the mouth but mesial from both maxillary third molars. This is true only in permanent teeth. In deciduous teeth, the maxillary second molar is the last tooth in the mouth and does not have a third...

s.

The deciduous dentition is made up of central incisors
Maxillary central incisor
The maxillary central incisor is a human tooth in the front upper jaw, or maxilla, and is usually the most visible of all teeth in the mouth. It is located mesial to the maxillary lateral incisor. As with all incisors, their function is for shearing or cutting food during mastication . There are...

, lateral incisors
Maxillary lateral incisor
The Maxillary lateral incisor is a tooth that is located distally from both maxillary central incisors of the mouth and mesially from both maxillary canines. As with all incisors, their function is for shearing or cutting food during mastication, commonly known as chewing. There are no cusps on...

, canines
Canine tooth
In mammalian oral anatomy, the canine teeth, also called cuspids, dogteeth, fangs, or eye teeth, are relatively long, pointed teeth...

, first molar
Molar (tooth)
Molars are the rearmost and most complicated kind of tooth in most mammals. In many mammals they grind food; hence the Latin name mola, "millstone"....

s, and secondary molars
Mandibular second molar
The mandibular second molar is the tooth located distally from both the mandibular first molars of the mouth but mesial from both mandibular third molars. This is true only in permanent teeth...

; there is one in each quadrant, making a total of four of each tooth. All of these are gradually replaced with a permanent counterpart except for the first and second molars; they are replaced by premolar
Premolar
The premolar teeth or bicuspids are transitional teeth located between the canine and molar teeth. In humans, there are two premolars per quadrant, making eight premolars total in the mouth. They have at least two cusps. Premolars can be considered as a 'transitional tooth' during chewing, or...

s. The replacement of deciduous teeth begins around age six. At that time, the permanent teeth start to appear in the mouth, resulting in mixed dentition. The erupting permanent teeth causes root resorption
Root resorption
In dentistry, root resorption is the breakdown or destruction, and subsequent loss, of the root structure of a tooth. This is caused by living body cells attacking part of the tooth. When the damage extends to the whole tooth, it is called tooth resorption...

, where the permanent teeth push down on the roots of the deciduous teeth, causing the roots to be dissolved and become absorbed by the forming permanent teeth. The process of shedding deciduous teeth and the replacement by permanent teeth is called exfoliation. This may last from age six to age twelve. By age twelve there usually are only permanent teeth remaining.
Teething age of deciduous teeth:
  • Central incisors
    Incisor
    Incisors are the first kind of tooth in heterodont mammals. They are located in the premaxilla above and mandible below.-Function:...

     : 6–12 months
  • Lateral incisors
    Incisor
    Incisors are the first kind of tooth in heterodont mammals. They are located in the premaxilla above and mandible below.-Function:...

     : 9–16 months
  • Canine teeth
    Canine tooth
    In mammalian oral anatomy, the canine teeth, also called cuspids, dogteeth, fangs, or eye teeth, are relatively long, pointed teeth...

     : 16–23 months
  • First molars
    Molar (tooth)
    Molars are the rearmost and most complicated kind of tooth in most mammals. In many mammals they grind food; hence the Latin name mola, "millstone"....

     : 13–19 months
  • Second molars
    Molar (tooth)
    Molars are the rearmost and most complicated kind of tooth in most mammals. In many mammals they grind food; hence the Latin name mola, "millstone"....

     : 22–33 months


Deciduous teeth are considered essential in the development of the oral cavity by dental researchers and dentists. The permanent teeth replacements develop from the same tooth bud as the deciduous teeth; this provides a guide for permanent teeth eruption. Also the muscle
Muscle
Muscle is a contractile tissue of animals and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to...

s of the jaw
Jaw
The jaw is any opposable articulated structure at the entrance of the mouth, typically used for grasping and manipulating food. The term jaws is also broadly applied to the whole of the structures constituting the vault of the mouth and serving to open and close it and is part of the body plan of...

 and the formation of the jaw bones depend on the primary teeth in order to maintain the proper space for permanent teeth. The roots of deciduous teeth provide an opening for the permanent teeth to erupt. These teeth are also needed for proper development of a child's speech and chewing
Mastication
Mastication or chewing is the process by which food is crushed and ground by teeth. It is the first step of digestion and it increases the surface area of foods to allow more efficient break down by enzymes. During the mastication process, the food is positioned between the teeth for grinding by...

 of food.

Deciduous teeth care


Proper care of deciduous teeth is very important and starts at early stages even prior to their eruption. Breast milk does not contribute to tooth decay, even during night feeding, as long as the child is exclusively breast fed. Infant formula
Infant formula
Infant formula is a manufactured food designed and marketed for feeding to babies and infants under 12 months of age, usually prepared for bottle-feeding or cup-feeding from powder or liquid . The U.S...

 can dissolve tooth enamel (the outer layer of teeth), while human milk, actually deposits calcium and phosphorus into enamel (a process known as remineralization). Researchers also concluded that human milk is not cariogenic (does not cause cavities), unless another source of carbohydrates is available for bacteria to feed on. Most artificial baby milk formulas tested were cariogenic, (caused cavities).

When feeding anything other than breast milk or water, a child's mouth
Mouth
The mouth is the first portion of the alimentary canal that receives food andsaliva. The oral mucosa is the mucous membrane epithelium lining the inside of the mouth....

 and gums are to be wiped with a clean damp cloth, gauze
Gauze
Gauze is a thin, translucent fabric with a loose open weave.-Uses and types:Gauze was originally made of silk and was used for clothing. It is now used for many different things, including gauze sponges for medical purposes. When used as a medical dressing, gauze is generally made of cotton...

 pad, or especially designed teeth wipes. Wiping the baby's teeth and gums after each feeding, and particularly at bedtime
Bedtime
Bedtime, in Western parenting tradition, involves to a greater or lesser extent, rituals made to help children feel more secure, and become accustomed toward a comparatively more rigid sleep schedule than they would otherwise establish....

, helps prevent baby bottle tooth decay. This practice also helps reduce premature decay caused by harmful plaque-like film and bacteria
Bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

 that builds when babies ingest juices or any food containing sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

. Moreover, to reduce the possibilities to develop baby bottle tooth decay, it is better to give the baby only plain water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

 at bedtime or during the night and avoid juices, sugar water, any milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

, (other than human breast milk), or any other liquid containing sugar.

Once the first primary teeth come in, brushing starts. Warm water is normally used in these cases or a non fluoride toothpaste
Toothpaste
Toothpaste is a paste or gel dentifrice used with a toothbrush as an accessory to clean and maintain the aesthetics and health of teeth. Toothpaste is used to promote oral hygiene: it serves as an abrasive that aids in removing the dental plaque and food from the teeth, assists in suppressing...

. The market offers special toothbrushes or finger toothbrushes for babies that help protect tender gums and gently clean baby teeth and gums. Other toothbrushes are specially designed for toddlers to easily grip them. They also come in catchy designs that encourage toddlers to use them. Toothbrush designs vary according to age, therefore, it is better to check the age recommendation on the package to obtain the most convenient one. Toothbrushes should be replaced every two to three months. It is also important to brush children's teeth after giving them medicine
Medication
A pharmaceutical drug, also referred to as medicine, medication or medicament, can be loosely defined as any chemical substance intended for use in the medical diagnosis, cure, treatment, or prevention of disease.- Classification :...

 as their acids may affect the tooth enamel
Tooth enamel
Tooth enamel, along with dentin, cementum, and dental pulp is one of the four major tissues that make up the tooth in vertebrates. It is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance in the human body. Tooth enamel is also found in the dermal denticles of sharks...

. Early brushing helps reduce harmful bacteria, remove plaque
Dental plaque
Dental plaque is a biofilm, usually a pale yellow, that develops naturally on the teeth. Like any biofilm, dental plaque is formed by colonizing bacteria trying to attach themselves to a smooth surface...

, sugar, or any other kind of food that may cause tooth decay.

Parents are advised to take their children to the first dentist visit when they are 12 months old. During this visit, the dentist can define dental care plan. Two possible ways to prevent tooth decay are the use of fluoride
Fluoride
Fluoride is the anion F−, the reduced form of fluorine when as an ion and when bonded to another element. Both organofluorine compounds and inorganic fluorine containing compounds are called fluorides. Fluoride, like other halides, is a monovalent ion . Its compounds often have properties that are...

 and sealants.

Fluoride makes teeth stronger over time which then prevents the initiation of dental caries and tooth decay. Also, it re-mineralizes those areas of the teeth which have been weakened by acid
Acid
An acid is a substance which reacts with a base. Commonly, acids can be identified as tasting sour, reacting with metals such as calcium, and bases like sodium carbonate. Aqueous acids have a pH of less than 7, where an acid of lower pH is typically stronger, and turn blue litmus paper red...

. Fluoride can be included in one's diet. Other ways of obtaining fluoride are in toothpastes and mouth rinses that are normally used at homes. The dentist can provide it through gels and foams he applies during dental visits.

To add to the benefits of the fluoride, dentists also apply sealant in order to preserve the teeth even more. Sealant is applied in some locations of the teeth that smooth their surface
Surface
In mathematics, specifically in topology, a surface is a two-dimensional topological manifold. The most familiar examples are those that arise as the boundaries of solid objects in ordinary three-dimensional Euclidean space R3 — for example, the surface of a ball...

. Therefore, food and plaque are less likely to get trapped in those areas.

Children can start flossing when they are about 3-4 years old. However, at this age they might still need help and will be able to floss by themselves when they are 8-10 years old.

Cultural traditions


Various cultures have customs relating to the loss of deciduous teeth. These were most commonly associated with mice or other rodents on account of their sharp, everlasting teeth.

In Britain, lost teeth were commonly burnt to destroy them. This was partly for religious reasons connected with the Last Judgement
Resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the Dead is a belief found in a number of eschatologies, most commonly in Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Zoroastrian. In general, the phrase refers to a specific event in the future; multiple prophesies in the histories of these religions assert that the dead will be brought back to...

 and partly for fear of what might happen if an animal got them. A rhyme might be said as a blessing:Old tooth, new tooth
Pray God send me a new tooth


The legend of the tooth fairy
Tooth fairy
The tooth fairy is a fantasy figure of early childhood. The folklore states that when a child loses a baby tooth, if he or she places it beneath the bed pillow, the tooth fairy will visit while the child sleeps, replacing the lost tooth with a small payment....

 is that of a fairy that gives a child money and/or gifts in exchange for a baby tooth that has fallen out. Children typically place the tooth under their pillow at night. The fairy is said to take the tooth from under the pillow and replace it with money once they have fallen asleep.

Tooth tradition present in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 sometimes comes under different names. A Ratón Pérez appeared in the tale of the Vain Little Mouse
The Vain Little Mouse
-Variants:There are many variants of this tale. In some versions of the tale the she-mouse is seduced by the answer of the cat, who sweetly meows when asked what he'll do at night...

. The Ratoncito Pérez was used by Colgate
Colgate (toothpaste)
Colgate is an oral hygiene product line of toothpastes, toothbrushes, mouthwashes and dental floss.-Duraphat:Duraphat is a professional strength paste intended for the treatment and prevention of dental caries....

 marketing in Venezuela and Spain. In Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, the Tooth Fairy (Fatina) is also often replaced by a small mouse (topino). In France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and in French-speaking Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, this character is called la petite souris ("The Little Mouse"). From parts of lowland Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 comes a tradition similar to the fairy mouse: a white fairy rat who purchases the teeth with coins. In medieval Scandinavia there was a tradition, surviving to the present day in Iceland, of tannfé ('tooth-money'), a gift to a child when it cuts its first tooth.

In Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, children traditionally throw their fallen "milk teeth" onto the roof of their house while making a wish. Similarly, in some Asian countries, such as India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, when a child loses a tooth, the usual custom is that he or she should throw it onto the roof if it came from the lower jaw, or into the space beneath the floor if it came from the upper jaw. While doing this, the child shouts a request for the tooth to be replaced with the tooth of a mouse. This tradition is based on the fact that the teeth of mice grow for their entire lives, a characteristic of all rodents. In Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, a different variation calls for lost upper teeth to be thrown straight down to the ground and lower teeth straight up into the air; the idea is that incoming teeth will grow in straight.

In parts of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, young children offer their discarded baby teeth to the sun, sometimes wrapped in a tiny rag of cotton turf.
In southern India, children bury their teeth in the soil hoping for a newer one to grow. The Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

n tradition is to throw the milk teeth onto the roof or a tree in the presence of a squirrel (Funambulus palmarum). The child then tells the squirrel to take the old tooth in return for a new one.

The tradition of throwing a baby tooth up into the sky to the sun or to Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

 and asking for a better tooth to replace it is common in Middle Eastern countries (including Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

). It may originate in a pre-Islamic offering and certainly dates back to at least the 13th century, when Izz bin Hibat Allah Al Hadid mentions it.

In some places in Australia and Norway, the children put the tooth in a glass of water.

In the fictional world of Tremont, baby teeth are saved so that, should the persons body be lost when they die (death at sea for instance) some part of them may still be buried, and can properly access the afterlife.

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