We may not put enough thought into our teeth but their function and importance in our day to day life cannot be sold short. Teeth perform a vital role in the way we live life from helping us chew, speak and smile!
Let’s take a look at the type of teeth we have and their functions.
Humans have 2 main types of teeth:
- Primary (baby teeth which eventually fall off making way for permanent teeth)
Four main types of teeth
Today, we shall discuss about the types of permanent teeth:
- Incisors – We have 8 incisors – four in the top centre and four in bottom centre. They are usually the first adult teeth to grow after the baby teeth. Incisors are characterised as thin and flat-bottom teeth with a narrow edge which are adapted for cutting and aid us in taking the first bite of our food. Recurrently they are specified as front teeth or anterior teeth due to their pervasiveness in talking and smiling.
- Canines – Also known as Cuspids, these teeth are the nearest link between the mouth of a human and that of a carnivorous predator. These pointed sharp teeth that lie on either sides of the incisors are used to do what they look like they should be doing – tearing into meat and ripping it apart. A prominent feature of the canine teeth is that they are the longest teeth that have a pointed end and only one implanted root. Yes, they are meant for ripping food but they also assist in guiding the mouth and other teeth into the best biting position. These teeth are formed around the 10-year mark and the bottom ones arrive before the ones on top.
- Premolars – Premolars are the first molars that come in around the age of 12-13. They sit next to the canines and are the foremost of the molars. Typically, premolars have a flat biting surface. The main purpose of these teeth is grinding and chewing in order to make the food into a semi-liquid state so that it can be digested smoothly. They are situated towards the back and hence, do not get much exposure to the outside world. They are stronger and larger as compared to canines and incisors.
- Molars – The main masticators are the molars. That is, they are frequently allied with chewing. They are large teeth that have a flatter surface which makes food into smaller bits that are easy to consume. There are three types of molars; they are:
- First molar – Situated directly after the second premolar, the first molar erupts around the time the child is 6.
- Second molar – Situated directly after the first molar and comes out around the age of 12.
- Third molar or wisdom tooth – Not only is it situated last but also is the last to appear at about the age of 20. This can vary from person to person. At times, wisdom teeth have the tendency to cause a variety of problems.
These are the four main types of teeth that we humans grow throughout out lifespan.
Few quick Insights:
- There are 20 primary teeth
- The first teeth to appear are the lower incisors at about the 6 month mark
- By the age of 2, all 20 primary teeth are usually in
- There are 32 permanent teeth which includes 4 wisdom teeth
- The first permanent teeth to erupt (generally at the mark of 6) are the 4 first permanent molars
- Between 7-8 years is when incisors erupt