Humans have three types of teeth:   Incisors     Canine       Molars


Incisor teeth have a thin edge.
They are used for snipping and cutting

 Canine teeth are pointed.
They are used for tearing and gripping

Molar teeth are flat.
They are used for crushing and grinding


The first teeth we have are called Milk Teeth
We have about 20 milk teeth.
The milk teeth start to fall out when we are about 5 years old.

They are replaced by permanent (adult) teeth which push up from below.
The last teeth to be replaced are the molars.

We end up with about 32 adult teeth.

The Structure of a Tooth


Structure of a molar tooth

The hard white covering that surrounds each tooth is made of ENAMEL.

Underneath the enamel is DENTINE, a bone like substance that contains some nerves.

At the centre of each tooth is PULP, which is a soft substance containing most of the nerves and blood vessels.

Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body


Tooth decay

Tooth decay is caused by plaque collecting along the gum line.

Plaque is made up of tiny bits of food and bacteria

The acids made by the bacteria start to attack the tooth enamel within 20 minutes of a meal.

When the hard enamel dissolves away it creates holes or cavities.

How to look after teeth

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Avoid acidic fizzy drinks and sweet food
  • Visit your dentist every 6 months


Teeth are part of the Human Body 1 Topic Book