Understanding the Different Types of Human Teeth

There are three different types of teeth in a child’s mouth and four in adults, both have incisors, canines and molars, but only adults have premolars. The first adult molars grow behind the baby molar, typically around the ages 6-7 and as the mouth grows, the second molar comes in around the ages 10-12. The premolars eventually replace the baby molars, and this is usually around the ages 10-12. The third molar (aka wisdom tooth) is the last to arrive, commonly coming through between the ages of 18-25.

Typically, a child will grow 20 baby teeth which then get replaced with 32 adult teeth as the jaw grows. It is a common occurrence for one or more of the teeth to not develop at all.

What are all the different teeth?

Incisor – They are the front four teeth on the upper and lower jaw. The two middle are known as central incisors and the ones either side are lateral incisors.  Incisors are used to bite down on food.

Canine – These are the four sharp pointy teeth located in each corner of the jaw, next to the lateral incisors. Canines are used to assist in biting and tearing food apart.

Premolar – Located straight after the canine tooth, there are usually two present in each quadrant of the mouth. These are used to tear and crush food. Molar – These are the largest teeth, and they are located toward the very back of the mouth. There are usually three molars in each quadrant but often there is not enough room, and the third molar (aka wisdom tooth) needs to be removed. Molars are used to chew food.

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