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Human Teeth: Explained by Type

Human Teeth: Explained by Type

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There are 4 types of teeth in an adult person’s mouth. Each of them is located in a certain place and serves its own function.

Together with 5-Minute Crafts, you’ll learn about the types of human teeth and the differences between them.

  • At the front part of the mouth you will find, sharp, flat teeth with a straight edge called incisors. They have one root and are meant for biting off and gripping food, as well as for its primary chopping.
    These are the teeth that are the first to erupt in babies (usually at around 6 months). The change of these teeth to permanent ones occurs around the age of 6-8 years.
    Both kids and adults have 8 incisors. They are located in the central part of the jaw: 4 on the upper jaw and 4 on the lower jaw. The middle 4 are called central incisors, while the other 4 next to them are called lateral incisors.
  • The teeth located next to the lateral incisors are called canines and they have a sharp pointed edge. They are the longest teeth in our mouth, their single root can reach up to 1.2 inches. They are meant to hold and tear food.
    Canines appear in babies at the age of about 16-20 months — the upper ones a little earlier than the lower ones. These teeth change to permanent ones around the age of 9-12 years, with the lower ones coming in a little earlier than the upper ones.
    Both kids and adults have 2 canines on each jaw.
  • Next to the canines, toward the back of the mouth, there are premolars that are also called bicuspids. They have quite a big surface that is used for chewing and grinding food, and several sharp points for piercing and ripping food. Premolars are something between canines and molars. Their main role is pre-grinding food before it gets to the molars.
    Adults have 4 premolars on each jaw. Those that are located closer to canines are called first premolars. The other 4 on the back are called second premolars. The first premolars of the upper jaw have 2 roots. The second premolar of the upper jaw and all the premolars of the lower jaw have one root.
    Little kids don’t have premolars, these teeth first appear at the age of 10-12. When they erupt, they replace the primary molars.
  • Molars are the biggest of all the teeth. They have a wide flat surface with pretty large cusps, which allow us to chew food and grind it well before swallowing.
    There are 12 molars in an adult human’s jaw and 8 molars in a kid’s jaw. Primary molars appear in kids at the age of 12-28 months and later get replaced with first and second premolars. The permanent molars don’t replace any primary teeth and erupt behind them at the back part of the jaw. The first molars erupt at about the age of 6, the next ones — at about 11-13 years old. The third molars, which are also called wisdom teeth, appear no earlier than the age of 18-20. Sometimes they stay inside the jaw and never erupt.
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