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The 5 Types of Teeth

Jul 10, 2014 - 07:07 AM EST |  Posted under: General, Pediatric Dentistry

You don’t have to be an expert to know that your mouth is filled with various types of teeth—different shapes and sizes, in different locations, and all serving various purposes. You may wonder however, how many teeth do children have versus the number of teeth an adult has. Or, you may be interested in knowing the proper names of each tooth and the function each one serves. You can learn about your teeth with this guide to tooth types.

Incisors:  Incisors are your two front teeth and the teeth on either side of them on the top and bottom of the mouth. Incisors are designed like tiny chisels with flat, moderately sharp ends. These teeth are formed to cut and chop food.

Canines: The pointy teeth beside your incisors are your canine teeth. You have a total of four canine teeth—two on the top and two on the bottom. These teeth are also designed to be sharp for tearing food.

Premolars (bicuspids): Premolars or bicuspid teeth are located just beyond the canine teeth toward the back of the mouth. You have eight in total—four on the top and four on the bottom.Premolars are bigger, stronger, and have ridges designed for crushing and grinding food.

Molars: In the very back of your mouth are the molars. You have eight molars—four on top and four on the bottom. Molars are your strongest set of teeth, formed with more width and ridges than the premolars. The molars are also designed for chewing and grinding, as well as thorough mashing of your food prior to swallowing. The molars generally do not surface until the ages of 6 to 12.

Wisdom teeth: The wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to emerge in the very back of the mouth. There are four wisdom teeth—one in each corner of the mouth. Some people have trouble with their wisdom teeth, while others never see them surface at all. And, for a select few, these teeth surface without complication.

How many teeth do children have?

Children generally have 20 teeth—ten on top and ten on the bottom, while adults have approximately 32.  Numbers can vary by age and incident. The better your children care for their teeth with daily brushing, flossing, and routine visits to the pediatric dentist, the greater the opportunity they will have to keep all their teeth healthy for a lifetime.

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