Look Closely at Your Teeth

The first thing that you would notice on anyone’s face is their teeth. Those prominent white, creamy , or brownish structures in the mouth. This invariably means that the state of your teeth matters a lot , as this says a lot about you. This means that the state of your teeth , can make or mar your appearance.
An adult human being has 32 teeth and all these have their names which are given based on their set, arch, class, type and side. There are two set of teeth in human beings, one set is primary or baby teeth and permanent or adult teeth. The set of teeth that replaces primary teeth are called permanent dentition which is a group name.
Teeth Names are also given depending on the arch a tooth is found in;
•    maxillary is the name given to the teeth in the upper jaw and
•    mandibular to those in the lower jaw.

Classes of teeth
There are four classes of teeth namely:
 incisors, canines, premolars and wisdom teeth. Children teeth otherwise known as deciduous teeth also have the same names except wisdom teeth which normally come out at the age of 18. The upper teeth of the adult have the following names: central incisors, lateral incisors, canine , first premolar , second premolar , first molar, second molar, third molar (wisdom teeth). The lower teeth consist of third molar (wisdom teeth), second molar, first molar, second premolar (first bicuspid), canine, lateral incisor and nuclear incisor. In addition, baby teeth also have their names which include the following upper teeth: central incisor, lateral incisor, canine), first molar and second molar. The lower teeth names are: second molar, first molar, canine,  lateral incisor and central incisor.

Names and functions of teeth
Human teeth names are associated with their functions. The teeth are categorised into four; they have typical appearance and perform specific function. They perform these functions according to their shapes and morphology. Human species are omnivorous because they eat both plant and meat and this particular characteristic demands two specific types of teeth namely;
1.    incisors also referred to as cutting teeth are used to cut foods into smaller pieces to facilitate inward movement into the mouth. In this type are also

2.    canines which are also known as eye teeth, they have sharp and pointed edges which are used for chewing and grinding, they can also pierce and rip at edge of the cusps. The most important function is that they start grinding the foods before transferring it to the

3.    molars for final grinding and swallowing. The work of the dentist is made simpler because of the teeth names which are associated with their functions.

Care of the teeth
• Brush regularly. Brushing is the cornerstone of dental, hygiene. It removes food particles that bacteria feed on, cleans teeth, and freshens breath. A toothpaste with fluoride helps strengthen teeth, but you must brush for at least two minutes to allow it to do its work.
Your oral health is about more than a sparkling, white smile. It’s also about protecting your mouth from plaque, the sticky bacteria that can build up on your teeth and gums. The bacteria produce acids in your mouth that can weaken your tooth enamel, lead to tooth decay, and irritate your gums. They can also lead to the number one cause of tooth loss in adults:  gum disease.  Your dental health routine and the right dental products can help.

But good dental health goes beyond the way you look. The mouth is the gateway to the body, which means the state of your teeth and gums affects your overall health.
Taking care of your general health and your mouth is the key to making the most of your smile.  Brushing your teeth twice a day (last thing at night before you go to bed and on one other occasion) with fluoride toothpaste and having regular check-ups with a dentist can help to keep your teeth healthy. Diet, smoking and drinking alcohol also have an effect on dental health.

Floss daily. Flossing removes the bacteria from in between your teeth that your toothbrush does not reach, which helps prevent gum disease. It is recommended flossing twice a day, but if you only do it once daily, be sure to floss before bedtime. When you sleep, you produce less saliva, which leaves teeth and gums particularly vulnerable to bacteria.

Visit your dentist. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for thorough dental cleanings. Your dentist can spot the early signs of gum disease, which is more easily treated when caught in the beginning stages. If you are prone to gum disease and cavities, consider visiting your dentist every four months.

Healthy diet : diet is good for your teeth
What you eat and drink can cause tooth decay, so a healthy diet is important for your teeth.

A balanced diet  includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, as well as starchy foods,  such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta (choose wholegrain versions and eat potatoes with their skin where possible). You should also eat sources of protein such as meat, fish, eggs, beans or other non-dairy sources of protein, and some milk and dairy foods (ideally lower-fat options). Only eat small amounts of food and drinks high in fat and sugar.

Cut down on sugary foods to prevent tooth decay
Limiting the amount of sugar you eat and drink is important to prevent decay.
A lot of the sugars we eat and drink are in food and drinks such as:

•    sweets, chocolate, cakes and biscuits
•    sugary drinks, including soft drinks, fizzy drinks, milky drinks with added sugar, and alcohol
•    fruit juice, including unsweetened fresh fruit juice and smoothies
•    buns, pastries and fruit pies
•    sponge puddings and other puddings
•    table sugar added to food or drinks, such as tea
• sugary breakfast cereals
• jams, marmalades, honey and syrups
• ice cream and sorbets
• dried fruit or fruit in syrup
• syrups and sweet sauces

Limit your intake of smoothie and fruit juice
 try as much as possible  not to exceed a glass of only one  of these a day. Sugars occur naturally in foods such as fruit and milk, but we don’t need to cut down on these types of sugars. However when fruit is juiced or blended, as in smoothies, the sugars are released from the structure of the fruit.  Once released, these sugars can damage your teeth so it’s best to drink fruit juice or smoothies at mealtimes. Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies should not be more than 150ml a day – which is a small glass.
For example, if you have 150ml of orange juice and 150ml smoothie in one day, you’ll have exceeded the recommendation by 150ml.

Alcohol can also erode the outer surface of the teeth, leading to a loss of enamel. If this happens, you may need to go to the dentist for a filling.  Drinking too much has also been linked to an increased risk of developing mouth cancer.  The most important risk factors for mouth cancer are the combined effect of smoking and drinking alcohol.  It’s estimated that heavy drinkers and smokers have a 38 times increased risk of developing mouth cancer than people who neither drink nor smoke.

This is very harmful to your teeth. Smoking can  stain your teeth yellow, cause bad breath.  and increases your risk of gum disease, as well as causing many other serious health problems.

What can stain your teeth
It is well known that the foods and drinks you take in can stain your teeth. Wine, cigarette smoke, tea and coffee are all teeth-staining culprits. Keep them to a minimum to stop your teeth becoming stained.  Your dentist or hygienist can give your teeth a professional clean, which may help to reduce the staining.