Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Deciduous Dentition (or Teeth)

First set of teeth in mammals that are shed as the animal grows. In humans there are 20 deciduous teeth, which are shed between ages five and ten. The deciduous teeth consist of incisors and canines; there is disagreement as to whether the third type of tooth is a premolar (the consensus of most mammalogists) or a molar (commonly held among human anatomists). The deciduous set is replaced by the adult dentition; aka milk teeth, primary dentition.

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