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A normal full set of permanent teeth consists of 32 teeth. The average child should have 6 teeth at the age of 1 year, 12 teeth at 1½ years, 16 teeth at 2 years and 20 teeth at 2 ½ years. First teeth or deciduous teeth are generally smaller than the permanent ones.

It is more usual for girls to get their permanent teeth first. A set of teeth is made up of 4 sections, upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left. Each section consists of 1 central incisor, lateral incisor, canine, 1st premolar, 2nd premolar, 1st molar, 2nd molar and 3rd molar. Molars are numbered from the front to the back of the mouth.

The commonest dental problems are not just involving teeth but the gums or soft tissue structures that support the teeth. Poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay and gum infections, which in turn can lead to the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth. Modern tooth pastes and electric toothbrushes should help to eliminate these problems.

Oral hygiene is also important to maintain good overall health. Many low-grade infections can in turn overload the immune system and many enter the body via the mouth.

Poor alignment of teeth or malocclusion can be the cause of headaches, jaw pain and some facial neuralgia. Often the pain and clicking sensation that some people suffer with when eating or opening their mouth wide can be attributed to malocclusion.

The answer is to visit your dentist and discuss this as being a possibility. The cure may involve permanently realigning your teeth or a bite plate that is worn at night. Grinding teeth at night or at any time can cause unnecessary wear on the enamel surfaces.

Certain drinks, such as tea and coffee, can stain your teeth, just as sugary drinks can cause tooth decay. Regular dental check ups including cleaning can help to keep your teeth and gums healthy and your body as well.

Additional Medical Conditions:

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