Daily Archives: January 26, 2008

Milk Teeth

Deciduous teeth, otherwise known as milk teeth, baby teeth, temporary teeth or primary teeth, are the first set of teeth in the growth development of humans and many other mammals. They start to form during the embryonic phase of pregnancy. These teeth will continue to form until they erupt in the mouth at the age of approximately six months and continues until twenty-five to thirty-three months of age. The full set of milk teeth is twenty: five per quadrant and ten per arch.

The deciduous teeth will remain until a child is about six or seven. At that time, the permanent teeth start to appear in the mouth. The erupting permanent teeth push down on the roots of the milk 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 may last from age six to age twelve. By age twelve there usually are only permanent teeth remaining.

Deciduous teeth are considered essential in the development of the oral cavity. The permanent teeth replacements develop from the same tooth bud as the deciduous teeth; this provides a guide for permanent teeth eruption. Also the muscles of the jaw 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 in the development of a child’s ability to speak and chew their food correctly.

Various cultures have customs relating to the loss of deciduous teeth;

In the United Kingdom the tooth is put under the pillow of the child who lost the tooth. When the child wakes up, the tooth fairy will have turned it into a coin.

In Mexico the child goes to bed with the baby tooth under their pillow. A mouse, not a fairy, takes it during the night. She leaves some money.

In Austria, you either make the baby tooth into a pendant head, a key ring, or throw the upper tooth under the house and the lower over the roof.

In Korea If it is a lower baby tooth, throw it up onto the roof; and if it is an upper tooth, throw it underneath the house. It is done so that the upper tooth grows healthy downwards, while the lower tooth upwards.

In Mongolia the baby tooth is given to a young dog. In Mongolia, the dog is respected and is considered a guardian angel. The baby tooth is put in the meat fat and it is fed to the young dog. When the guardian angel eats it, it is said, that a strong tooth will grow.

Now I wonder what they ever did with mine?