You probably don’t think about your teeth often. As long as they’re serving their purpose and helping you chew, all is well. Right?
Well, if your teeth are functioning perfectly, congratulations! But for many of us, we’ll experience tooth pain or another ailment at some point or another.
To nail down exactly what’s causing you a problem, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of all your teeth. Read on as we step you through the basics!
How Many Different Kinds Of Teeth Do I Have?
This is an interesting factoid. The number of teeth you have is dependent on your age.
Kids have only 20 teeth, which are called primary teeth or sometimes baby teeth. This includes ten teeth in the upper jaw and ten teeth in the lower jaw, including four incisors, two canines, and four molars.
Once those teeth fall out, new ones grow in—and there are more of them! Most adults have 32 permanent teeth, including eight incisors, four canines (cuspids), eight premolars (bicuspid), and 12 molars. Your four wisdom teeth are included in that molar total.
The Different Kinds of Teeth
Above, we’ve identified four different kinds of teeth—incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. But what’s the difference?
Incisors are the teeth in the front of your mouth, and they’re shaped like small chisels. They have sharp edges to help you bite into food.
Canines sit next to the incisors and have a sharp, pointy surface.
Premolars are next to the canines. These teeth are bigger and have a large flat surface to help grind and crush food into small, swallowable pieces.
Molars are the biggest and strongest teeth. Like the premolars, they have a large surface area to grind up food. When you eat, your tongue pushes food back to those teeth, allowing them to grind up the food.
The wisdom teeth are molars, but many people simply don’t have space for them in their mouths. They’re also difficult to keep clean, which can lead to painful cavities, making removal a frequent suggestion.
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