At a stage, children begin to lose their primary teeth or baby teeth. It can be difficult to determine which teeth are baby teeth and expected to still fall out. Here are some things to look for to determine if a tooth is a baby tooth.
- Baby teeth have thinner enamel and dentin. The pulp is also bigger in relation to the size of the tooth. The thinner enamel and dentin cannot protect well against cavities. Diligent brushing will help prevent cavities from starting in baby teeth. A cavity can quickly travel through the tooth and into the nerve causing severe pain for the child.
- Adult teeth are more yellow than baby teeth. Baby teeth are generally pearly white whereas permanent teeth are dingier. Many people assume that baby and adult teeth are the same color, but this is not so. Adult teeth are naturally more yellow and are difficult to whiten to the same brightness as baby teeth. Many whiteners will cause damage to the teeth, weakening them.
- Primary teeth have much thinner and shorter roots. This is something only a dentist can tell through taking an x-ray of the tooth. The short, thin roots enable the adult teeth to grow and maneuver into place so that they can dissolve the roots of the baby teeth and push through the gum line after the baby tooth falls out.
- Baby teeth fall out between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. If adult teeth are well taken care of, they will last a lifetime. Baby teeth are smaller and are intended to fall out within only a few short years.
- Adult teeth have mamelons. These are small bumps that give the adult incisors that serrated look then they first appear in the mouth. The mamelons will wear down quickly as long as the teeth are fitting together properly.