Your teeth work together a lot like a baseball team. Each one has a specific job to do and it would be impossible for you to eat or talk normally without them. Have you ever thought about why you have so many different kinds of teeth? What is each one supposed to accomplish? Dr. Robert E. Christensen, your dentist in Midland, wants you to know a little more about all of your teeth.
The teeth that you probably show when you smile are called incisors. They are the sharp, chisel-shaped teeth at the front of the mouth that enable you to bite into food. You have 4 top incisors and 4 on the bottom. They also help you pronounce words (such as “top”) and support your lips.
You have 1 canine tooth on both sides of your upper and lower incisors, totaling 4. These are also called cuspids. They serve two main purposes. Firstly, they help you grasp food when you chew. They are an important factor in your ability to eat meat and other tough foods. The second purpose is that they help guide your teeth together whenever you close your jaw, working like interlocking puzzle-pieces with each other.
As we move farther back into the mouth, we come to the premolars. Dentists call them bicuspids. They have a flatter top than canines and help you crush and chew food, as well as maintain the spacing of your jaw. You should have 2 on each side of your top and bottom teeth, totaling 8.
Your back teeth are shaped wide and flat, helping you to grind and chew food right before you swallow. The tops of these teeth are very rough and uneven to facilitate this process. Most adults have 3 on each side of their top and bottom teeth, totaling 12. However, many people are not developing their third set of molars, known as the wisdom teeth. These often have to be removed in order to avoid issues like crowding.
That’s All of Them!
This is the lineup of your 32 (or 28) adult teeth. Each one serves an important purpose and you use them all. This is why you should brush, floss, and definitely visit your dentist in 79701 regularly to keep them clean. The back teeth, for example, have entirely too many small surfaces for you to reach on your own at home, and that’s where a dental cleaning from one of our team can help. Now that you know what each of your teeth does, maybe you’ll appreciate them the next time you use them. If you have any other questions about your teeth or how to keep them healthy, please give us a call today.