The Secret Life of a Molar
If your teeth could talk, what would they say?
From your toes to your nose and your knees to your teeth, your body is extraordinary. If each part of your body could talk, what do you think they would say?
Your toes might talk about the thrill of touching the grass, while your nose might share a story about a stinky smell. Your knees might whisper about the magic of bending as they please, and as for your teeth? Well, they would each have their own story to add to the mix!
We got the inside scoop from one very special kind of tooth, the molar, about what it’s like to live inside of the mouth. Here’s what our friend the molar had to say.
The Secret Life of a Molar
Not to brag, but I am the biggest and strongest kind of tooth you have. What’s my job? I’m glad you asked! Me and my fellow tooth friends work together to cut, tear, and grind your food. While your incisors, canines, and premolars do most of the cutting and tearing, I use my large, flat surfaces to mash up your food at the back of your mouth so you can swallow safely.
The wonders of my structure don’t end there. My top surface is covered in tiny crevices and four bumps called cuspids, which I use to make your food mushy. Because I’m the biggest tooth around, I’ve got extra support to hold on strong and do my job the best I can. I’m the only kind of tooth that can have up to three roots. Roots are like tails that reach down to hold me securely in place. Even though you can’t see them, my roots are the longest part of me.
What It’s Like Going to the Dentist
I know sometimes going to the dentist can make you nervous, though I have to tell you that it’s one of my most favorite things to do. Because I know I’m being seen by a special dentist that’s just for kids, I know I’m being taken care of every time I go. The pediatric dentist helps me keep my outer shell clean and healthy. My outer shell (which is named enamel) has a very important job. Enamel is like a protective shield that keeps me strong, safe, beautiful, and healthy.
But remember those tiny crevices on my top surface? Well, they can’t help but catch bits of food and bacteria. When food and bacteria stay on me too long, I can get a hole in the outer shell of my tooth enamel. This hole is called a cavity. If a cavity happens, it’s okay. Remember how I told you that visiting the pediatric dentist is one of my favorite things? That’s because the pediatric dentist can make the cavity go away and teach me how to stop cavities from happening. Last time, the pediatric dentist was right when she said the best way to make me and my fellow tooth friends happy is to eat healthy snacks, brush two times a day, and floss once a day. It means so much to me every time you do things to take care of me. Thank you!
What It’s Like to Be a Baby Molar
Did you know that humans grow two sets of teeth? When you’re a kid, you have baby teeth like me that will eventually fall out. Your baby teeth will be replaced by adult teeth, which you’ll have for the rest of your life.
I love my job as a baby molar. I’m here to teach you how to chew your food super well and help your mouth be ready for the day when your adult molar moves in. One day, I’ll be ready for my next adventure and will fall out. Of course, I’ll thank you for taking such good care of me and for the memories!
Fun Facts About Molars and Teeth
- Me and all of your teeth are completely unique. There is no other tooth in the world that’s just like me, which means your smile is one of a kind.
- Each one of your teeth is covered with a hard outer shell called enamel. Enamel is the strongest substance in your body! Its job is to protect me and your other teeth from food and bacteria.
- Your teeth love healthy snacks like apples, carrots, celery, nuts, yogurt, and cheese. Too much sugar doesn’t make us feel good, so we only like to eat small amounts of candy, cookies, cakes, sodas, and sweets.
- Me and my tooth friends love chewing food, but we don’t like chewing on anything else. When we bite or chew something that’s not food, we can get hurt, broken, or chipped.
- The best way to keep me happy and healthy is to visit the pediatric dentist and take care of me with brushing and flossing every day.
- When me and my tooth friends are happy, your mouth is happy. When your mouth is happy, your body is happy. All the parts of your extraordinary body are here to work together to help you feel safe and healthy.
Now that you know a little bit more about me, I’d like to know more about you! Please show me how great you are at brushing and flossing your teeth, especially before you go to sleep. Celebrate how well you do at using your special tooth rinse, eating snacks that make me happy, and drinking water throughout the day. You’re extraordinary, and I know you can do it!