The teeth in the back of your mouth are called molars. When it comes to eating, they’re the real workhorses. Molars grind up foods like celery and hamburgers after your incisors cut them down to bite-size. It’s this grinding action that gives them their name. Mola is the Latin word for the big stones used to use to grind wheat into flour.
When your mother tells you to properly chew your food, she’s mostly talking about what the molars do. Chewing is very important. It crushes up the food and saturates it with saliva. This makes it much easier for your tummy to digest. It also helps your body get the most good out of the food.
It’s easy to think molars aren’t important to your smile. After all, they’re hidden in the back, but they are very important to the health of your entire body. From the strength of the hair atop your head to the shine of your toenails and everything in between, your body needs the best it can get from your food to stay healthy and looking good. That requires healthy molars.
Being in the back, molars can be the hardest to care for, but it’s worth the extra effort. Even if you brush regularly, if you don’t properly brush your back teeth, you may risk getting child cavities. Be sure you follow your dentist’s instructions on how to properly brush your teeth every time.