Teeth are small, white structures made of calcium that are found in the jaw bone of animals and humans. The shape of an animal's teeth determine what that animal eats. Herbivores eat plants, which are hard to digest. As a result they have a mouth full of molars to grind and chew their food. Carnivores eat meat, so their teeth are designed to kill prey and rip flesh. Humans are omnivores, so we have a little of both.
Incisors - These are the teeth in the front of the mouth. They are used for cutting food. Rodents like mice, beavers and rabbits have long incisors that keep growing through out the animal's life. Constant gnawing helps keep them in check.
Canine - These are the pointy teeth in the front corners of our mouths. The canine teeth of carnivores are enlarged for dual action. They not only tear flesh, but can be used to bring down prey and defense.
Bicuspid - Also called premolars, are transitional teeth between the canines and molars.
Molars - These teeth are located in the back of the mouth and used for grinding and chewing food.
Tooth Decay - Teeth are the most durable, and telling parts of the body. Some animals teeth grow continuously like rabbits and beavers. Some animals grow entirely new sets of teeth every couple of weeks, like sharks. Humans get two sets of teeth, a baby set and a deciduous set. The baby teeth only last for a few years before they fall out and are then replaced by the deciduous set.
The deciduous set is the last set humans get, which is why it is so important to take care of your teeth - once they fall out, they won't grow back, unless you're seven years old.
Teeth are under constant attack from the acids and sugars people eat. Large quantities of bacteria often form a sort of biofilm on our teeth called plaque. If not removed frequently, the plaque can become mineralized and turn to tartar. Plaque build up can also eat holes in your teeth called cavities.
The best way to fight tooth decay is to clean your teeth at least twice a day. Brush'em. Floss between'em. Use mouthwash.
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