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Maple Shade Dental of East Peoria
1001 Illini Drive, East Peoria, IL 61611

Fun Mouth Anatomy For Kids

Every time you eat a meal, you use them. If you do not take good care of them, they will start to hurt and might even eventually fall out of your head. They are some of the first things that others notice about you, and they can make your smile either one of your best or one of your worst features. What we are describing, of course, is your teeth. These essential parts of a healthy mouth make it possible for us to break down food, form certain letters when we speak, and do much more. But human beings are not the only residents of this planet to have teeth. In fact, teeth are commonly found in all vertebrate animals. And while there are significant differences between the teeth and mouths of various creatures, what we have in common with other animals in terms of oral anatomy is also quite striking.


Human beings go through two stages of dental development. First, human beings grow what are known as baby or primary teeth, which are about 20 teeth that begin pushing through our gums at about six months of age. Eventually, these teeth fall out and are replaced by 32 adult teeth that we have for the rest of our lives unless they are removed. When adults lose teeth, they are usually replaced with artificial ones so you can still eat and talk properly. Brushing and flossing your teeth as a child and as an adult will preserve their health and keep you from needing replacements.


Who has not been terrified by an image of a great white shark baring all of its teeth? What is even more terrifying is knowing that the great white, along with other shark species, has an almost unlimited number of teeth. Unlike human beings, sharks grow a new tooth every time they lose one. In fact, a shark can go through as many as 30,000 teeth in a lifetime. There is a good reason why no one has ever seen shark dentures: There is no need for them!


What is most interesting about the mouths of whales is that when it comes to teeth, whales fall into two groups: toothed whales and baleen whales. Toothed whales have several rows of what we normally think of as teeth. Baleen whales, on the other hand, do not have actual teeth; instead, they have a filter made out of baleen that is located where teeth would be in other whales. Baleen is a structure of bristles that traps tiny organisms such as plankton when baleen whales take water into their mouths. Baleen whales take in a big mouthful of water, then push it out through their baleen to filter out the food.


In addition to the sheer size of dinosaurs, their teeth are what make them so memorable and frightening. The large mouths of the tyrannosaurus rex and their many teeth made them the king of the dinosaurs. But even smaller dinosaurs such as the raptor had teeth that were not something one would want to deal with. Dinosaurs may be extinct, but it certainly is not due to a lack of teeth for eating!

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