The Different Types of Teeth and What They Do

People have two sets of teeth. They are the primary teeth and then permanent teeth, which develop in stages after you baby teeth fall out. Adults have about 32 permanent teeth, which include wisdom teeth. Although types of teeth are often taken for granted, they are very important. Teeth help us chew our food which allows us to digest all of the nutrients used to nourish our bodies daily. Although very similar, each tooth has a different shape and a different job to do. Our teeth play an important role in our daily lives. Here are all of the different types of teeth and all of the jobs that they perform.


These are the eight teeth at the front of the mouth. They are thin, straight and located at the top and at the bottom of your mouth. They are the first ones that bite into the food you eat. They also help you to pronounce words and support the lips. Lower incisors are usually the first teeth to erupt at about 6 months old. Then other incisors will erupt between the ages of 7 and 8 years old.


You have four canine teeth which are located on each side of the upper and lower incisors. These are your sharpest teeth and they are used to cut and tear into food.


These are located behind the canines. Premolars have a flattened top and are used to chew food and also maintain the height of the face. There are eight premolars in an adult’s mouth. There are four on the top and four on the bottom.


Located next to the premolars are the molars. These are your widest and flattest teeth. There are twelve molars with six in the upper jaw and six in the lower. Molars are used for chewing and grinding food. Molars are the first permanent teeth to erupt, which usually happens at about 6 years old. They are the 4 first permanent molars behind the last primary teeth.

Third molars

Third molars, which are also known as wisdom teeth, are the last teeth to develop. They are the four molars at the back of both the upper and lower jaws. They develop during young adulthood. Some people may never develop their third molars. However, those who do develop them usually have to get them removed because of crowding in the mouth. All molars are used for chewing and grinding food but third molars are not necessary.

Supernumerary Teeth

The normal amount of teeth in an adult’s mouth is 32. Sometimes, more teeth than the usual 32 will appear. These are called supernumerary teeth. Typically, it is an extra incisor, molar or even an extra canine tooth. It is common for these extra teeth to be removed because they can cause crowding in the mouth. They are not necessary to keep as they are just extra teeth that developed.

Maintaining Healthy Teeth

We have several types of teeth and it is essential to take care of all of them. You can make sure you are keeping your teeth healthy by eating healthy, brushing regularly, not smoking and having routine dental checkups. With a full set of heathy teeth, people are able to eat and speak correctly. Oral health is essential to your overall wellbeing. Preserve your confident smile with pearly white teeth.

Whether you’re having trouble finding a suitable dental physician, have more questions about maintaining the best oral hygiene routine, or want to actually perform a dental procedure, outstanding dental advice and care can be offered by Dr. David S. Kao’s office to provide you with the gorgeous, memorable smile you desire. Dr. Kao focuses his treatment on you as an individual, and not just on the dental problem. As part of his approach to dental care, Dr. Kao takes into account each patients’ individual needs and concerns. Dr Kao’s treatments are specifically tailored to provide lasting health benefits.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and to boost both your smile and your confidence.