What do you really know about your teeth? They help you chew. They play a large part in creating the shape of your mouth and therefore your entire face. They comprise your smile which helps you make first impressions when you meet other people.
Yet many people don’t know which tooth is a canine and which is an incisor. When we have a toothache and are asked by Drs. Roppa, Marshall-Roppa or Bachman, ‘which tooth is bothering you?’, many of us simply point and say, “that one!” as if we’re implicating someone in a police lineup of the usual suspects. So let’s take a moment to get to know our teeth a little better.
People have two sets of teeth in our lifetime: the primary teeth and the secondary teeth. The primary teeth often known as the “baby teeth” because they begin growing in when people are only about six months old and are usually all in place by the time we are about three years of age. Our secondary teeth, also known as the “adult teeth”, begin erupting from our gums as the primary teeth begin to fall out. This usually happens between the ages of six and twelve years old.
The average grown adult usually has 32 secondary teeth but they are not all the same. Your teeth perform different jobs based on their shapes. They could be likened to the players on your favorite baseball team: each has plays their own position but they work as a team.
The Types of Teeth
- Incisors- These are the eight teeth in the very front of your mouth. We have four incisors on the bottom and four on top. These are primarily used for biting off pieces of food.
- Canines- These teeth are named after the fangs of a canine (dog) due to their sharp, pointed appearance. We have four canines, two on top and two on the bottom, one on either side of our incisors. Canine teeth are used to rip and tear food.
- Bicuspids- These teeth, also 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 teeth, also used for chewing and grinding, grow at rear of your mouth, four on top and four on the bottom, two on each side. Molars are an area that commonly experience tooth decay due the fact that they are used constantly but can be difficult to clean as thoroughly. Many people also grow third molars, 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.
Now that you know a bit more about your teeth, you may be able to better communicate with your Smile Viera dentist when you’re having a problem. For example, if you feel pain in the top front of your mouth when you bite, you can say that you think you may have an issue with one of your top incisors. Maybe you can now appreciate the roles your teeth play in chewing on your food. There’s an old saying that a team is only as strong as its’ weakest player.
For this reason, it’s important to schedule regular cleanings and exams with Drs. Roppa, Marshall-Roppa or Bachman at Smile Viera in Viera FL, to keep your team strong. To schedule call 321.614.3833 or request an appointment online.