Learning Anatomy of a Tooth

Anatomy of A ToothTooth Fairy Smiles Blog Image Learn the Anatomy of a Tooth

Teaching kids how to clean their teeth and what to eat for healthy teeth are very important for oral health. But, knowing how all the different parts of your teeth function can provide insight into why you are cleaning your teeth the way you do. Teaching your kids the anatomy of a tooth will help them understand that teeth are more than hard white chiclets in their mouths, and how practicing proper oral hygiene will protect these complex parts of their bodies.

Crown:

The top area of the tooth that is covered with enamel.

Enamel:

White outer part, called the enamel, is the hardest part of the tooth. This hard calcified tissue is mostly made up of a form of calcium phosphate, known as hydroxyapatite.

Dentin:

This part lies beneath the enamel and the cementum. The dentin is less mineralized than the enamel and less brittle. The porous yellow colored material acts as another level of protection for the pulp, and support for the crown.

Pulp:

The soft inner part of the tooth. This layer is made up of living tissue. It contains blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. One of the pulp’s most important functions is to provide moisture and nutrients to the surrounding mineralized parts of the tooth.

Gums:

Also called the gingiva, this is the soft tissue that covers the jaw and protects the roots of the tooth. The gums also cover and protect teeth that are forming and have not yet erupted.

Root:

The area of the tooth that lies beneath the gums, and should not be visible.

Cementum:

The cementum is the layer of hard connective tissue that covers the root. This layer is softer than the dentin and the enamel but still acts as a bone like a protective layer. In addition to covering the root of the tooth, the cementum also serves as an attachment point for the ligaments that anchor the tooth to the jaw.

Nerves and Blood Vessels:

Located in the pulp and run through the tooth in the root canal.

Root-End Opening:

Blood vessels and nerves enter the tooth through this opening at the apex of the root.


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