Thursday, March 3, 2016

Types of Teeth and Their Functions

Many factors play a role in how many teeth we have, but there are typically 32 permanent teeth in the mouth including the four wisdom teeth. The first permanent teeth to erupt (usually at about six years) are the four first permanent molars behind the last primary teeth. At Southern Cross Dental it is our job to take care of all your teeth, but if you’ve ever wondered why your teeth are different shapes and sizes, we are here to tell you why.  

The types of teeth we have and their functions are:

  • Incisors – located at the front of the mouth, these teeth have a sharp biting surface and are used for cutting or shearing food into small chewable pieces.

  • Canines – located at the ‘corners’ of the dental arches, these teeth have a sharp pointed biting surface. Their function is to grip and tear food.

  • Premolars – Unlike incisors and canines, these teeth have a flat biting surface. Their function is to tear and crush food.

  • Molars – The molars are the largest teeth in the mouth and they too have a large flat biting surface. The function of these is perhaps the strongest of all as they chew, crush, and grind food.

If you have further questions regarding your pearly whites, don’t hesitate to give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our office, visit for more information. To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at Southern Cross Dental in Colorado Springs, CO, call 719-471-1717.

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