How Well Do You Know Your Teeth?

How well do you really know your teeth? They’re essential for chewing and play a huge part in shaping the shape of your mouth and consequently your entire face. They help you smile which is what you use to make first impressions on others. Yet many of us don’t know which tooth is a bicuspid and which is an incisor. Take a moment to learn about the four different types of teeth there are with Dr. Daryle Mahnke in Bay City MI.

Primary vs. Secondary Teeth

Human beings will have two sets of teeth in our lifetime: the primary teeth and the secondary teeth. The primary teeth are frequently called the “baby teeth” because they begin growing in when we are only about six months old and are usually all grown in by the time we are three years of age. The secondary teeth — the “adult teeth” — begin growing in as the primary teeth begin to fall out. This usually occurs between the ages of six and twelve.

The average adult person usually has 32 adult teeth once they’ve all grown in but they are not all the same. Your teeth have different jobs based on their locations. They could be compared to the players on your favorite baseball team: each player has their job in their part of the field but they work together as a team.  

The Types of Teeth

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

Canines: These teeth are named after the fangs of dogs — scientifically named canines — due to their sharp, pointed appearance. People have four canine teeth, two on top and two on the bottom, one on either side of our incisors. Canines are for ripping and tearing food.

Bicuspids: These teeth —  sometimes known as premolars — are used for chewing and grinding foods. We have four bicuspids, two on the top and two on the bottom, one on either side of the canine teeth.

Molars: These flat-topped chewing and grinding teeth, grow at the rear of your mouth, four on top and four on the bottom, two on each side. Molars frequently suffer from tooth decay due the fact that they are used constantly but can be difficult to clean properly. Many people grow third molars in addition. These teeth are more commonly referred to as “wisdom teeth” due to their late arrival (late teens to early twenties). Four third molars will erupt, one each side, top and bottom. Wisdom teeth that fail to emerge due to overcrowding are said to be impacted and require surgery to remove. Wisdom teeth are also prone to tooth decay due to their location at the very rear of the mouth.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Bay City, MI

Now that you know you teeth a little better, you will be better able to communicate with Dr. Mahnke when you may be having a problem. For example, if you have pain in the top front of your mouth when you bite, you may have an issue with one of your top incisors. At the very least, maybe you now understand the roles your teeth play in chewing on your food and their importance. After all, a good team is only as strong as its weakest player so keep your team healthy and strong. To schedule a cleaning or exam with Dr. Mahnke in Bay City MI, call 989-272-2478 or request an appointment online.