How Well Do You Know Your Teeth?

Our teeth are major players in both chewing and in shaping your mouth and face. Your smile is made up of your teeth which you often use to make a good first impression on others. But many people can’t tell the difference between a canine and a bicuspid.

Dr. Natasha Radosavljevic — Dr. Rados, for short —  a respected dentist in Clearwater, FL would like to take a moment to educate her patients about the four different types of teeth in their mouths.

Primary vs. Secondary Teeth

Human beings will grow two different sets of teeth in their lifetimes: the primary teeth and the secondary teeth. The primary teeth are known as the “baby teeth” to most people because they begin to come in when we are only about six months old and are usually all grown in by the time we are three years old.

The secondary teeth, also known as the “adult teeth”, begin to come in as the baby teeth fall out. The adult teeth normally emerge between the ages of six and twelve.  The average person usually has 32 teeth but they are not all alike. There are different kinds of teeth. Your teeth are shaped differently and have different jobs depending on where they are located in your mouth.  

The Types of Teeth

Incisors: These are the eight teeth at the very front of your mouth — four incisors on top and four on the bottom — and are primarily used for biting off pieces of food.

Canines: Canines are named after the fangs of a dog (a canine in scientific terms) due to their sharp, pointy appearance and are used to rip and tear food. We have four canine teeth, two on top and two on the bottom, one on either side of our incisors.

Bicuspids: These premolars — so named because of their location in front of the molars — are used for chewing and grinding food. We have four bicuspids, two on the top and two on the bottom, one on either side of our canine teeth. 

Molars: These flat-topped teeth are also used for chewing and grinding and grow at the rear of your mouth, four on top and four on the bottom, two on each side. Molars commonly experience more significant tooth decay due to the fact that they are used constantly but can be difficult to clean as thoroughly. 

 Many people also grow third molars, more widely known as “wisdom teeth” due to their late arrival in our early twenties or late teens (although how wise really are at that age is still a source of debate). Four third molars usually emerge, one each side, top and bottom. Wisdom teeth that do not emerge often require surgery to extract before they cause pain and/or infection. Your wisdom teeth, like your other molars, are also susceptible to tooth decay due to their location at the very rear of the mouth.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Clearwater, FL

Now that you know a little more about your teeth, you will be better able to communicate with Dr. Rados or your area dentist when you may be having a problem. For example, if you have pain in the rear of your mouth when you chew, you may have an issue with one of your molars. This is why it’s important to call 727.360.4302 or contact us online to schedule regular exams and cleanings with Dr. Radosavljevic in Clearwater, FL.