One of the most exciting moments of a child’s life can be losing the very first tooth, and everyone loves the pictures of smiling babies with their first teeth coming through, but why do we have baby teeth? What makes some animals grow 2 sets of teeth in a lifetime whereas others don’t?
Babies Jaws Can’t fit Adult Teeth
Obviously a babies and toddlers head is much smaller than a fully grown adults, therefore they clearly couldn’t fit a full set of 32 teeth into those tiny jaws so instead grow 20 baby teeth. These deciduous teeth begin to grow at about 6 months of age and are gradually replaced one by one until we reach puberty. At some other point in life we grow wisdom teeth and these sometimes don’t come through until people are 20.
Some Animals Get Multiple Sets of Teeth
Humans and most mammals are known as diphyodont, meaning in our life times we will grow a primary and secondary set of teeth, but some animals can keep doing this continuously throughout their lives which really comes in handy for predators like alligators that are constantly using their teeth.
Our Second Set is the Last We Get
Sadly for us mere humans, the adult set of teeth is for life,l so unless you can afford very expensive realistic implants we recommend looking after the final set you get.