Get to Know Your Teeth

invisalign dentist shippensburg paDo you really know your teeth or are they just “casual acquaintances”? We use them every day but do you know the difference between the different roles they play? Many people don’t know which tooth is a bicuspid and which is an incisor or what either one of those even does. So let’s take a moment to learn about the four different types of teeth there are with Dr. Zachary Sisler at Smile Design By Sisler in Shippensburg, PA.

Primary vs. Secondary Teeth

People grow two sets of teeth in our lifetime: the primary teeth and the secondary teeth. The primary teeth are called the “baby teeth” by most people because they begin coming in between the ages of about six months old  until three years of age. The adult or secondary teeth begin growing in as the primary teeth start falling out. This process usually happens sometime between the ages of six and twelve years old.

The average person usually ends up having 32 adult teeth but they are not all the identical. Your teeth have different roles based on their shapes and locations in your mouth. They are similar to the players on your favorite basketball team: each has plays their own position but they work as a team.  

The Types of Teeth

Incisors: These eight teeth are found at the very front of your mouth. We have four incisors on the bottom and four on top and 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 the rear of your mouth, four on top and four on the bottom, two on each side. Molars are an area that frequently experience tooth decay due the fact that they are crucial for chewing but can be difficult to clean 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. Wisdom teeth that fail to emerge are said to be impacted and require a surgical procedure to remove. These are also prone to tooth decay due to their location at the very rear of the mouth.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Shippensburg, PA

Now that you know you teeth a little better, you should be better able to talk with Dr. Sisler when you may be having a real problem. For example, if you have pain in the rear of your mouth when you chew, you may have an issue with one of your molars. At the very least, maybe you now grasp the vital roles your teeth play in chewing on your food. After all, it’s said in basketball that t a good team is only as strong as its weakest player. This is why it’s important to schedule regular cleanings and exams with Dr. Sisler at Smile Design By Sisler in Shippensburg, PA. To schedule call (717) 271-7052 or request an appointment online.