When you look at your smile in the mirror, you may notice that your mouth is made of several different kinds of teeth. Dentists know that each has their own role to play in eating, with food usually moving from your front teeth backward. The guide below explains these different categories and how you should care for them.
Your Guide to Tooth Types
The incisors are your foremost teeth on the upper plate and lower jaw. There are eight in total, and their sharp surfaces are used for biting food into smaller pieces that can then be ground down. Baby incisors are the first teeth to erupt, appearing at roughly six months. Adult incisors then come in between the ages of 6 and 8. These teeth are the most prone to staining, which is why you need to brush the surfaces carefully.
On the outer sides of the incisors are the canines. They’re narrower and sharper and tear into food, usually meat. However, they are prone to having food get stuck in them and may require more careful flossing. There are four in total: two on the upper plate and two below. They first appear at 16 and 20 months. Adult canines appear around the age of nine.
Like canines, there are four premolars in total. They help grind down on pieces of food, such as grains so that they can be swallowed more easily. The first ones appear around age 1, and secondary ones come a year later. Because they have larger surfaces, premolars may be more prone to cavities. Therefore, visit the dentist twice a year to have them checked out.
Molars are the largest teeth. There are eight in total, and they’re responsible for finalizing food processing. The first appear around age six. Secondary molars then erupt between 11-13 years old. They’re also prone to cavities. A dentist can apply a dental sealant when you’re younger to help protect them. Wisdom teeth also count as molars, though they are often extracted to prevent overcrowding your mouth.
If you’re overdue for a dental exam, turn to the team at Stadler Dental Care. Dentist Dr. Andrew Sadler has practiced dentistry since 1999, bringing extensive experience in the field to patients in the Columbus, NE, area. He and his staff are committed to employing the latest techniques and tools to help their patients achieve lasting results. Call (402) 564-4093 to schedule an exam or visit their website to explore the practice further.