1. Types of Teeth
Did you know that your teeth are one of the strongest parts of your body?
They are made from proteins such as collagen, and minerals such as calcium.
Children have just 20 teeth, called primary, temporary, or milk teeth. They include the same 10 teeth in the upper and lower jaw:
- 4 incisors
- 2 canines
- 4 molars
Most adults have 32 teeth, called permanent or secondary teeth:
Your teeth erupted from your gums when you were about 6 months old. The lower incisors are usually the first primary teeth to come in. Most kids have all 20 of their primary teeth by age 3.
Children tend to lose their primary teeth between the ages of 6 and 12. They’re then replaced by permanent teeth. Molars are usually the first permanent teeth to come in. Most people have all of their permanent teeth in place by age 21. Once adults have had their second, permanent, set of teeth you do not get any more.
Can you find out some animals that get more than two sets of teeth?
Types of Teeth
Your eight incisor teeth are located in the front part of your mouth. You have four of them in your upper jaw and four in your lower jaw.
Incisors are shaped like small chisels. They have sharp edges that help you bite into food. Whenever you sink your teeth into something, such as an apple, you use your incisor teeth.
Your four canine teeth sit next to the incisors. You have two canines on the top of your mouth and two on the bottom.
Canines have a sharp, pointy surface for tearing food.
Your eight premolars sit next to your canines. There are four premolars on top, and four on the bottom.
Premolars are bigger than canines and incisors. They have a flat surface with ridges for crushing and grinding food into smaller pieces to make it easier to swallow.
Baby molar teeth are replaced by adult premolars. Infants and young children don’t have premolars because these teeth don’t start to come in until around age 10.
Your 12 molars are your biggest and strongest teeth. You have six on the top and six on the bottom. The main eight molars are sometimes divided into your 6-year and 12-year molars, based on when they typically grow in.
The large surface area of your molars helps them grind up food. When you eat, your tongue pushes food to the back of your mouth. Then, your molars break up the food into pieces small enough for you to swallow.
The molars include four wisdom teeth, which are the last set of teeth to come in. They usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25.
Next time you are eating - take a moment to consider which teeth you are using to eat which foods and how many of them end up being ground by your molars.
Can you detect where you place the food to bite - tear - grind?