Sunrise Family Dentistry

The Four Types of Teeth and How They Function

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The Dental Health Foundation states that there are twenty primary teeth that a child will have by around the age of two. By adulthood an individual will normally have 32 teeth. The following are the four types of teeth each individual has and how they function.

1. Incisors

These are the eight teeth in the very front of the mouth. There are four incisors across the top and four across the bottom. These teeth are for taking the first bites of food. These are also the first teeth that a baby will usually get. Incisors will usually start to come in around 6 months. The second set of incisors are permanent teeth and normally come in when a child is between 6 and 8 years old.

2. Canines

There are four of these types of teeth. Two are on top, on each side of the four incisors. The other two are in the same place on the bottom. These are sharp, pointy teeth that are used for ripping and shredding food apart. The first canines will come in when a child is between 1 and 2 years of age. The upper pair usually come in first. The permanent canines will start coming in around age 9. All four should be in by age 12.

3. Biscuspids

Bicuspids are also called premolars. These teeth are used for grinding and chewing food. They are larger and stronger than either canines or incisors. There are 4 biscuspids on each side of a person's mouth. The premolars normally come in between ages 10 and 12. These teeth also help maintain the overall height of a person's face.

4. Molars

Molars grow behind the other teeth in the mouth. They are also used for grinding and chewing. Molars are flat and wide. There are six in the upper part of the mouth and six in the lower part. These teeth grow in as permanent teeth and are not replaced with new ones. Wisdom teeth are also molars and are sometimes called third molars.