Did you know that sharks have the ability to re-grow a tooth? They continually “shed” and develop new teeth, and, they never run out; if a tooth is lost, another one moves forward from their multiple rows of backup teeth. Scientists tell us that most sharks will use 20,000 – 30,000 teeth over a lifetime!
Humans, however, only get 2 sets of teeth in a lifetime. Baby teeth, or primary teeth, begin to appear around age 6 or 7 months, although some children develop them earlier. There are 20 primary teeth that normally all appear by age 3.
At age 5 or 6, primary teeth begin to loosen and fall out as the underlying permanent teeth “push” them during the eruption process. This sequence usually continues until about age 12 or 13. By age 14, children have 28 permanent teeth. Most teens develop 4 additional permanent teeth, or “wisdom teeth”, that will erupt around age 17 or 18.
We think sharks are cool, and we wish we could help our patients re-grow teeth, but unfortunately we are not there just yet. We want to help our patients take care of the teeth they have with regular checkups and cavity prevention.
So, how many teeth do you have right now? If you are an adult with less than 28 teeth, you may have difficulty chewing or feel less than confident about your smile. A 7 year old child may have over 40 teeth! We can show them on an xray and count them together.
Contact Us to schedule your next dental visit and let us help you take care of your smile.