The Secret Life of an Incisor
Your Mouth Is an Interesting Place
Here at Must Love Kids, we have pretty awesome friends. One of our friends agreed to tell us all about a typical day in an interesting place. It’s a place that’s neither here nor there but goes with us everywhere. That place is the mouth! Our friend the Incisor is here to tell its story.
Our Special Guest, an Incisor
I’m on a mission. I cut food into tiny pieces so it can be chewed and swallowed. I am responsible for taking bites of apples and other healthy foods that I then pass to the back of the mouth to be ground into a pulp by my friends and finally swallowed. My friends are canines, premolars, and molars. Without me, my human could only eat mushy bananas, smoothies, and mashed potatoes. Food that isn’t cut can’t be chewed, so I like to think I’m the most important tooth in my human Margo’s mouth.
I am an incisor.
What It’s Like Going to the Dentist
I love going to the dentist. Margo goes to a special kids’ dentist, also called a pediatric dentist. I love getting cleaned. It’s like getting a good scrubbing from head to toe, except my toes are safely inside Margo’s gums. My toes are like roots. Have you ever seen the roots of a plant? It’s the part of the plant that absorbs water and brings nutrients to the rest of the plant. My toes do the same thing, and they’re often called roots too. My toes need special cleaning sometimes that only my dental team can do. I like having that part of myself scaled and cleaned.
Margo sometimes gets anxious about the dentist, but the dentist that Margo goes to is super cool with kids. They always make her smile and feel relaxed. She got a toy for being good at the dentist, and she got a special toothpaste, some floss to help her remember to floss, and a toothbrush.
Once Margo waited too long to go to the dentist. She had me and my friends the molars chewing candy too—bits of candy were stuck on me for a long time. Then going to the dentist hurt my gums a little! I heard her dentist, Dr. Mo, tell Margo that if she didn’t take better care of me, I was going to get a hole called a cavity that they would have to fix. I didn’t want that to happen!
Dr. Mo told Margo to brush her teeth twice a day for two minutes and use a flouride rinse. Dr. G and Dr. Z have told Margo this before too. Dr. Mo explained it’s important to floss between every single tooth. I hoped Margo would remember her dentist’s advice.
Dr. Mo also said that one of my friends the molars already had a cavity. But not to worry, because she can fix the cavity for Margo no problem! I felt better. I’m glad my friend the molar did a great job sitting still while getting a filling and feels happy and healthy now!
After the Dentist
Margo did remember to floss, brush, and rinse. She also ate more carrots and less candy. I started feeling better right away. So did my gums. And they turned pink again. That feels so good! It’s like sunshine on your toes.
I love it when Margo eats carrots and other food that helps clean my enamel. Did you know enamel is the strongest thing in your whole body? And I’m covered with it! I love it when Margo takes good care of my enamel. And I like it when she brushes me and remembers to floss, too.
One day, Margo was away from home and she drank lots of soda. All day long, she kept sipping it through a straw. It made me feel nasty. Finally, Margo’s friend’s mother said he’d had enough and threw away the soda. At first, Margo was grumpy. Then she started drinking more water and felt good because she was hydrated. She also remembered something the dentist told her—that sugary soda stays on your teeth a long time. So she brushed for two whole minutes and flossed too. Then I felt shiny and clean and my gums felt healthy and happy, too.
What Happens to an Incisor
I’m just a baby incisor because Margo is still a young kid. Some day, Margo will get an adult incisor. Right before she does, and while the big incisor is pushing its way up through the gums, I will fall out. Then Margo will put me under her pillow at night and the tooth fairy will come to get me. The tooth fairy will leave it up to Margo’s parents to choose where I go next. I could stay with them, or I might go with the tooth fairy.
Fun Facts about Incisors and My Friend
Here are a few other fun things about me.
- Enamel is like body armor for teeth. It protects me from bacteria! It is the strongest substance in your body.
- Foods rich in calcium make me and my enamel even stronger.
- You should never use me to open things, or you could chip my enamel or even break a piece of me off. I’m strong, but I’m not a bottle opener.
- I was here inside Margo’s mouth before she was even born, but I was underneath her gums.
- There is no tooth in the whole world just like me. I am one of a kind.
- An elephant’s molar is one of the biggest teeth in the world and grows to be about 10 pounds.
- Your tooth is one of the only parts of your body that can’t self-heal, so you need to take really good care of me!
Tomorrow Margo is going on a special trip with Mom and Dad to the Dizzy Castle—they have a 3-level castle, 70-foot pirate ship, rock walls, and a friendly dragon. After running around until she gets all the wiggles out, Margo’s going to eat chicken nuggets, baby carrots, and string cheese or applesauce at the cafe. Margo also loves cucumber slices. So we’re packing apples and cucumber slices to eat in the car on the way to and from Dizzy Castle. When we get home at night, Margo promises me she’ll brush me really well, floss between me and my friends, and rinse her mouth with the special rinse her dentist gave her. Then she’s going to curl up in her cozy bed and go to sleep with happy memories in her head. And I’ll go to sleep happy and healthy because my super-strong enamel armor is clean and safe.
And that means Margo will also be more healthy and safe.
Happy teeth mean a happy mouth. A happy mouth means a healthier body.