The appearance of our children’s first milk teeth is an exciting moment. Not only do we think about everything they’re about to bite and eat, but we imagine everything else in store for them. But… why are they called milk teeth? Are they really made of milk? The response may not be what you think.
No, milk teeth aren’t made of milk, nor of bone. The substance is called dentin, a mixture of the mineralized tooth nerve (which is why it’s important for them to consume calcium from milk) and enamel, which gives the tooth shine and resistance.
So, why do we call them milk teeth? One of the reasons is because they appear during the period in which babies feed only on breast milk, which IS crucial for healthy dental development.
The other reason is the color. If we observe their teeth carefully, we can see that they have a particular white color. It’s shiny and opaque, just like milk. And this color is what tells us that they have healthy teeth with enough enamel.
Despite everything, we can’t deny that the name “milk teeth” also makes it sound more innocent. We think about how fragile our baby still is, even though dentin is one of the toughest compounds in the body. All that’s left is for us to enjoy their growth and remain attentive to their health.
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