We talk a lot about teeth at Brinkley Dental but it occurs to us that most folks don’t really know much about their teeth other than how important it is to keep them clean and how urgent it is to obtain care when one of them is hurting! Our office can help you with both scenarios but today we thought it might be fun to share a little bit of knowledge about teeth in general. Don’t worry, we aren’t sending you to dental school – just passing along a bit of useful “general knowledge” you might need the next time you play Trivial Pursuit!
Each tooth in your mouth actually serves a specific purpose and each tooth is shaped slightly differently than its nearest neighbours. There are reasons for this:
- Your front teeth (in addition to being “all you want for Christmas”) are primarily meant for biting, not chewing. These are called Incisors and there are four on the top and four on the bottom, typically used when first biting into any food. Very often, these are the first adult teeth most people get after baby teeth have fallen out.
- Your cuspids, or canines are, as the name implies, those teeth that most resemble the sharp teeth found in many meat eating predators. They are the longest teeth in the human mouth, most often have a pointy end and are used, as the name might imply, to tear at our food. While most of us don’t eat by tearing at food, they still perform this valuable function especially for meat eaters – we just tend to keep our mouths closed while doing so these days!
- Next up are your molars – large teeth with a flatter surface – typically used for chewing. These teeth are the workhorses of the mouth, grinding our food down into manageable chunks for swallowing.
- Wisdom teeth are “last but not least.” Not everyone gets them and they actually have nothing to do with wisdom. They are often called “third molars” and in fact, it’s important to note that often molars are referred to as premolars, molars and third molars. For some, there is not enough room in the mouth for wisdom teeth and this can cause problems requiring their removal.
- In total – most adults can reliably count on having 32 teeth which, if you’re careful and kind to them, should last you a lifetime.
That’s it. File this knowledge under “random things you might need to know one day” and you’ll be a rock star during your next trivia game, no dental degree required! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading the latest installment of Tooth Talk by Brinkley Dental, your family dental office located in Brampton. As always – we’ll end with our friendly reminder, “don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”
*with various sources