The Parts of the Teeth

You use your teeth every day but you probably don’t spend much time thinking about them. Sure, you probably brush every day—twice, if you listen to your dentist—but, much like your lungs it is probably very easy to forget how important they are.  Knowing a little more about teeth, though, might help you to remember the importance of Oracare dental health, overall.


In your lifetime, you will have two sets of teeth. As you might already know, humans are not usually born with teeth.  Indeed, babies usually do not get their first set of teeth—the primary set—within the first year; most often the first poking through the gum line at around 6 months. The first teeth to come in—the front teeth—are incisors which are followed by the canines (outside of them) and then the molars (towards the rear of the mouth).  

Even though this growth pattern is staggered, we can see quite a consistent pattern:

  • Teeth always erupt from the gums in parallel—basically, they come in pairs and always directly opposite each other, both sides growing at the same rate
  • The oral roots for teeth first starts to develop during the second trimester of pregnancy
  • The crown (top) of the tooth develops before the root
  • The first set remains until adult teeth grow in, typically between the ages of 6 and 12
  • The only other teeth to grow in after the adult teeth are the wisdom teeth, which typically grow in during the teen years or sometimes into the 20s


Of course, we only get to see what teeth look like on the outside, but they actually have two basic parts: the root and the crown. Of course, these parts may also be composed of other parts, as well.  For example, every tooth is made up of four different kinds of tissue, which serve different purposes:

  • The Enamel is the outer part of teeth, the part we see.  Enamel is made of the minerals calcium and phosphorous and its purpose, of course, is to protect the inner parts
  • Beneath the enamel is a calcified layer that looks like bone, called the Dentin, which is slightly more vulnerable than enamel
  • Beneath the dentin is a soft layer of Cementum which serves to protect the root but also to anchor it. Softer than enamel proper gum care helps keep the cementum healthy
  • Finally, the pulp is like the marrow of teeth, where the blood vessels deliver oxygen and nutrients