Teeth 101

Do you know how many teeth you have? Do you know that you have multiple types of teeth, and that each type of tooth has a different job? Keep reading to learn more:

The Four Types Of Teeth

You have four kinds of teeth in your mouth, and each type of tooth has a different function.


The incisors are in the front of your mouth. These 8 teeth are used for biting into food. You have four incisors on the top of your mouth and four on the bottom. In general the top teeth are quite a bit larger than the bottom ones.


Your canines are the sharp, pointier teeth on each side of your incisors. You have four canine teeth, two on the top row and two on the bottom row. These teeth are used for gripping and tearing food.


The pre-molars are larger, flatter teeth that are used to crush and tear your food. You have eight pre-molars—four on the top and four on the bottom.


You have twelve molars including your wisdom teeth. These teeth are the largest, and they are in the back of your mouth. They are usually used for grinding and chewing food. Many people have to have their wisdom teeth removed. In some cases this is because there isn’t enough room in the mouth. In other cases it is because the teeth come in at the wrong angle.

In total, including the wisdom teeth, most adults have 32 teeth that help them eat every day.

In order to keep your teeth healthy and functioning properly, you’ll need to brush and floss every single day. Flossing is especially important in the back of the mouth near the molars where food can easily get stuck. Avoiding sticky food and sugary beverages will also protect your teeth and keep them cleaner. It is also wise to go in for regular dental cleanings since your dentist has tools that can clean your teeth more thoroughly than you can at home.

To learn more about your teeth and to schedule a teeth cleaning or checkup, schedule an appointment with Dr. Devin Okay’s office.

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