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Lakeview South Loop
Lakeview South Loop

Your Teeth

Posted on May 5th, 2016 by Dr. Nikoo Daftary

There are 32 teeth in your mouth and each are important in their own way. Each type of tooth has its own shape and serves a specific function. They fall into one of five main categories of teeth which are classified by certain attributes. The five types are incisors, canines, premolars, molars, and wisdom teeth. Below, each of the classifications of human teeth are defined and explained.

Incisors

Your incisors are the teeth at the forefront of your mouth. There are eight incisors in total—the front four teeth on top and the top four teeth on the bottom of your mouth. These teeth are used to cut and tear food initially. The food is then sent backwards to be ground up and chewed.

Canines

There are four canines in your mouth. They are the sharp, pointed teeth that appear on either side of each set of incisors. Canine teeth are meant to grind and rip food apart—more so than your incisors. They are the sharpest teeth in the human mouth.

Premolars

Premolars are bicuspids, meaning they have two ridges, called cusps, on their tops (crowns). They closely resemble molars, and sit behind the canine teeth. Premolars are used for chewing and grinding food that has been bitten into. There are eight total premolars in the human mouth—four on each side.

Molars

Molars are the teeth that are found in the back of the mouth. They are large, flat teeth that have either four or five cusps. They are also meant for grinding and chewing food. Their large, flat surfaces flatten food out and break it down for digestion. There are four sets of three molars at the very back of the mouth.

Wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are not counted in the 32 teeth mentioned at the beginning of this article. They are molars which sit dormant under the gum line until around the age of twenty. However, this varies, as some wisdom teeth never emerge. Many people need to get their wisdom teeth removed because their growth or position may disrupt the other teeth in the mouth.
All of your teeth serve important functions, and should be well kept. Regular brushing, flossing, and checkups at your dentist are all imperative parts of oral health care. When you fail to keep your teeth healthy, it can lead to decay, and even tooth loss. Preventative care is the best way to ensure you do not have problems later on in life.

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