This article is just a refresher. I know that when you were in primary school, you were taught about the different types of teeth humans have. Well, we just have four but each of them plays very important roles. You may have already learned this stuff way back in your childhood but that’s exactly it – it was a long time ago. How long has it been? One, maybe two decades? That’s way too long to remember every bit of information your teacher said. So, as a refresher, we decided to bring you this article. Consider it a short yet jampacked article about everything you need to know about the 4 different types of human teeth (read more).
First off, you have to know what they are. So let’s get started!
Humans basically have four types of teeth: Incisors, Canines, Pre-Molars (or Bicuspids), and Molars. It’s really not that hard to differentiate them since they have distinct appearances and function. Let’s briefly discuss them one by one.
- Incisors – This is what you’d commonly refer to as “front teeth.” These teeth look thin and sharper than most teeth because they are used to cut, splice, or tear food apart. Each tooth has somewhere between one to four mini-teeth or spikes that root it to our gums. Incisors become thinner from the root up. If you eat big or hard chunks of food like meat, for example, the incisors play the important role of tearing the food apart so that it gets easier to chew. Since incisors are strong and sharp, they can easily chip away anything – even your nails! Try not to develop that mannerism though!
- Canines – This type of teeth are what you’d commonly refer to as “fangs.” In some people, canines look much defined so they sort of have this “vampiric” aura to them. I know that most of you probably inspected your canines when you were young and wondered if you actually have Dracula as an uncle. Some of you may have even pretended to be a real-life vampire! Canines are strong teeth that are also used to tear food away and cut them into tiny little shreds. Unlike other teeth, canines only have a single root. But take note, this root is longer than what you can find in any other type of tooth. It buries deep into the gum part so that it supports the pointy canine well as it does the heavy work. There are four canines in total. If you have a hard time remembering this, just picture a Saber-tooth tiger!
- Pre-molars or Bicuspids – This type of tooth comes right after the canines. There should normally be 8 pre-molars in every human mouth. Two on the upper left, two on the upper right, two on the lower left, and another two on the lower right. This type’s primary function is to munch or crush food. Of course, even after the incisors and canines cut and tore the food apart respectively, you still can’t swallow the chunks that easily. It still needs to be processed into even smaller pieces. Luckily, the bicuspids offer much assistance in that department. They help munch food down into tinier pieces. When these get damaged, patients often have the option to save them by undergoing a dental filling procedure. You can ask local clinics like No Limits Dental in Midtown Manhattan if you’re not sure how the procedure works exactly.
- Molars – This is the last type of teeth we have and probably the most that we have too. There are a total of 12 molars, six on the upper part (3 on the left, 3 on the right) and another six on the lower part (3 on the left, 3 on the right). They are named according to where they are placed (e.g. first molar, second molar, third molar) and their main function is to grind food. This type is much flatter and thicker than the other types of teeth and they may have 4-5 cusps each. Molars basically process food into the finest they can be so that they become very easy to swallow. Since these are on the far end of the mouth, they are often the least maintained. Most decays start in this part of the teeth.
Needless to say, all four types play highly significant roles in our everyday lives – especially when it comes to processing food. We are only granted one set of adult teeth in our lives and it is a must that we take care of them. Life without tines is far more challenging than you know. Please don’t learn this truth the hard way.
Take better care of your teeth today!