Why Do We Have Baby Teeth?
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Why Do We Have Baby Teeth?

Cheese! Squeaks and I are practicing our smiles for
picture day. You look great, Squeaks. But you’re missing something… Oh I know! Teeth! When we smile, we usually show off our teeth. But don’t worry, Squeaks, you still look
great — and you’re not the only one who’s missing teeth! Maybe some of YOU are missing a tooth or two! Have you lost a tooth yet? If you have, you know what it feels like! Your tooth starts to feel a little wiggly,
then a little loose, and soon you can twist it all the way around. Then one day–pop! It’s out of your mouth! Don’t worry! It doesn’t hurt, and these teeth are supposed
to fall out. They’re your baby teeth! Some people also call them milk teeth or primary
teeth. As a baby grows, these teeth slowly come in,
do their jobs for a while, then get loose and eventually fall out. Lots of other animals have baby teeth, too. Have you ever found small teeth around your
house as your puppies and kittens grow up? Yep! Those are just dog and cat versions of baby
t eeth! But … why do we have baby teeth at all? Well, think of a little baby. She’s so cute! And also so small! A baby is much smaller than an adult, or even
you! The part of her head where her teeth grow,
here, is called the jaw. And a baby’s jaw is so small that only baby-sized
teeth can fit in there. But when the baby is first born, her teeth
haven’t grown in yet. And that’s OK! Because what does a newborn baby eat? Milk! And you don’t need teeth to drink milk. But once a baby grows a little — when she’s
about six months old — her first tiny teeth will start to pop up. Usually, the front teeth on the top and bottom
are the ones to come in first. When a baby has THESE teeth, she can start
to eat soft foods, like mashed up peas and carrots, or little pieces of cereal or crackers. Just a few teeth are all you need! Then, once she gets to be about two and a
half years old, she’ll have all of her baby teeth — TWENTY of them in all. Now, she can start to eat other stuff, like
crunchy carrot sticks or stringy spaghetti. You can’t just swallow that food — it’s
time to chow down! But teeth aren’t just for chewing. Can you think of anything else we use them
for? Well…I’m doing it right now. Talking! We use our teeth to form shapes with our tongue
and mouth, which lets us make the sounds we use to speak. So a little kid often starts to talk right
around the time that she has her first full set of baby teeth! Without them, talking would be really hard! So, baby teeth are small enough that they
can fit in a little kid’s mouth, but they’re strong enough to chew up all the new food
she’s starting to eat, and they can help her start to talk! But those first teeth won’t be there forever! As she keeps growing and growing, our kid’s
head and jaw are growing, too! And that means that she’ll need MORE teeth,
and also BIGGER teeth! Those baby teeth will be just too small to
get the job done! So by the time she’s about 10 to 12 years
old, she will have lost all of her baby teeth. And in their place, she’ll have THIRTY-TWO
bigger, stronger grown-up teeth! These teeth are ready for anything — now
our big girl can eat crunchy celery, tough nuts, and lots of other things! But these teeth are permanent! That means she’ll have them for the rest
of her life — so she’ll have to take GOOD care of them, to keep them strong and healthy. So — why do you have baby teeth? Basically … because you get bigger! Be sure to brush your teeth AT LEAST two times
every day, especially after you eat. And floss, too! Because a smile’s only happy if it’s HEALTHY! Thanks for joining me at SciShow Kids! Do you have a question you’d like to ask
us? Just get help from a grown up and ask us in
the comments below, or send us an email at [email protected]


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