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Your mouth contains many different parts that work together to help you eat and speak. Your teeth are made of many layers and are very important to your mouth, while the gums anchor your teeth to your jaw and must be taken care of just as much as your teeth. Your tongue is made of many different muscles that work very hard to help you chew, swallow, and talk. The floor of the mouth is home to many ducts for salivary glands, which produce saliva that helps you chew and digest food. Lips and cheeks are also very important parts of the mouth, and you should take extra care to keep them healthy.
All About Teeth
Although you can’t see it, each of your teeth is made up of several different layers. The part that you can see is called the crown. The crown is covered in enamel, a hard substance that protects the inside of the tooth. Beneath the enamel is a layer of dentin, another tough substance that protects the most sensitive part of the tooth, known as the pulp. The pulp is where the blood supply and nerve endings of the tooth are found. This is why your teeth might hurt if you eat something too hot or too cold. The root of the tooth is called cementum, and it is connected to the jawbone.
You have four different kinds of teeth in your mouth, each with a different shape and purpose. Incisors are your front teeth, and they’re surrounding by slightly pointed canines. The teeth towards the middle and back of your mouth are called premolars and molars.
Healthy gums should be firm and pink. You can easily avoid gum disease by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once every day. Always used a soft-bristled brush and choose toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride helps protect your teeth against cavities. You should also replace your toothbrush every three to four months; old toothbrushes can easily damage gums.
Your tongue is important because you need it to talk, eat, and taste. The tongue is attached to the floor of the mouth by a piece of tissue called the frenulum. The top of your tongue is covered in bumps called papillae. These bumps contain taste buds. Although babies are born with up to 10,000 taste buds, some die as we grow and age. Taste buds are covered in tiny hairs called microvilli, which send a message to the brain about how something tastes. Taste buds identify salty, sweet, bitter, and sour flavors. In order to practice good dental hygiene, it’s important to brush your tongue as well as your teeth.
Many people don’t realize the importance of brushing the insides of your cheeks! The mouth is home to over 3,000 species of bacteria, which can grow at a very rapid rate. To keep your mouth in top-top shape, gently brush the insides of your cheeks each time you brush your teeth.
Your lips are covered with a thin, transparent layer of skin called stratum corneum. This skin can easily become dry and damaged due to cold weather and wind (the cause of chapped lips) or sun damage. That’s right-your lips can get sun damage! It’s important to use a lip balm with SPF 15 or more to prevent them from getting burned. Licking your lips can also cause them to become chapped, because saliva causes the thin skin of your lips to dry out. If you begin to have dry or flaky lips, you can use a mild lip scrub to remove the dead skin cells from your lips.
Floor of the Mouth
The floor of the mouth includes a few important parts: the lingual frenum, sublingual caruncles, and the sublingual folds. The lingual frenum is the line of tissue that divides the two sides of the floor of the mouth. Two sublingual caruncles are found on each side. They each contain an opening for a salivary duct, where saliva is produced. The sublingual folds run towards the base of the tongue and contain many more ducts from salivary glands.
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- Teeth: What Are They and Why Are They Important?
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- Human Body Parts: The Tongue (video)
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- Keeping Kids’ Mouths Healthy
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- Interesting Mouth Facts
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- About The Tongue
- Tooth Anatomy
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- Dental Health Month: Fun Activity Sheets For Kids
- The Smilestones Teeth Cleaning Game