The human body is incredible. Consider how it can heal its own wounds and broken bones and replace lost blood. Teeth are part of the wonder of it all. Our pearly whites are astoundingly tough and long-lasting.
We’re so used to our teeth doing their job that it’s easy to take them for granted, but here are five attributes of teeth that remind us of the amazing creations that they are.
1. Teeth Have Some Bending Ability
Did you know that your teeth are flexible? It may sound mind-blowing, but your teeth bend as a cushioning mechanism that protects your teeth against chewing damage.
Our teeth have layers. The outer layer of our teeth, known as the enamel, is the hardest component of the human body but, surprisingly, still somewhat fragile if not cared for correctly. Underneath the enamel is another layer called dentin. Dentin is softer than enamel and slightly more flexible but still somewhat hard. Underneath the dentin is a very soft third layer called the tooth pulp.
The three layers of a tooth enable our teeth to flex and reshape during stress. Under stress, the inner layers of the teeth can bend, whereas the outer layer breaks in just the right way, which leads us to fact #2.
2. Our Teeth Are Meant to Break
It sounds crazy, but breakage is a natural occurrence of teeth. It’s a specific type of break. Your teeth naturally break but in a controlled way.
3. Teeth Repair
Another outstanding characteristic about our teeth is that they can repair themselves to a certain extent.
While it’s true that your body doesn’t grow new enamel once you’ve formed your complete set of teeth, our bodies do have some healing mechanisms that help to repair our teeth. Our tooth pulp contains cells that can heal and build new dentin. The enamel, however, is a bit more complicated to repair.
When our teeth get damaged by acid or other substances, they lose essential minerals from their formation. Luckily, these minerals are floating in our saliva and fluoride, enhancing the chemical reaction that ultimately restores these minerals in our teeth. If you have enough minerals in your saliva and the PH is balanced, your body will slowly rebuild your teeth.
4. Teeth have Cushion in the Bone
Our teeth have many shock absorbers and cushions to protect against damage. An essential shock absorber is within the tooth socket. Did you know our teeth aren’t directly connected to the bone? They are attached to the periodontal ligament, a tough, stretchy membrane that allows some flexibility in your teeth.
5. The Bone Can Repair
Your body is constantly on alert to repair your bones when needed. An orthodontist often puts constant pressure on your teeth to stimulate growth and remove bone, specifically around the teeth. This process naturally occurs to maintain the bone around your teeth.
Built to Last—With Your Help!
So there you have it…the wonder of teeth. But don’t let this lull you into false security. Teeth are amazing workhorses—as long as you care for them. As we age, our anatomy begins to change, even our teeth. As we get older, the nerves in our teeth tend to get smaller, making our teeth less sensitive to cavities and other dental diseases. Without regular trips to your Utah family dentist, these problems may go undiagnosed and unnoticed until the damage is beyond repair.
It becomes even more essential to have regular dental visits and take good care of our teeth with age. It is not inevitable to lose your teeth as you get older. Your teeth can last your whole life, and it’s up to you to make the right decisions to make that happen. Taking some time every day to care for your teeth will be well worth it in the long run. Treat your teeth with care, pay attention to them and give them what they need.
Teeth are incredible, and with proper dental habits and practices, they can last a lifetime. To help your teeth last forever, make sure to:
- Brush your teeth day and night with a soft bristle or electric toothbrush.
- Thoroughly floss once a day.
- If you wear dentures, clean them regularly.
- Drink tap water. Most tap water contains fluoride, which will help prevent tooth decay and dental diseases.
- Stay away from smoking or tobacco use to decrease your risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth discoloration.
- Don’t skip a dental check-up. Schedules those bi-annual teeth cleanings and make them a priority.
Don’t stop caring for your teeth as you age. It is possible to avoid rotting teeth that will fall out. The simplest habits like brushing, flossing, and regular cleanings make a world of difference.