Lesson 6: Types of Teeth
Did you know that Babies already have their teeth when they are born? However, it is not until a baby is about 6-12 months old that they begin to teeth (their teeth begin to grow in and become visible).
Most children have a full set of baby teeth by the time they are 3 – however, all children’s teeth grow and fall out at different rates. A full set of primary teeth are 20 teeth in all:
- 8 Molars: 4 on the top, and 4 on the bottom. Also known as “Cheeks Teeth. Your molars are larger, stronger, and flatter than your other teeth. We use our molars for crushing and grinding food so it’s easy to digest!
- 4 Canines: 2 on top, 2 on the bottom. Your Canines are sharper than your other teeth and are meant for tearing or ripping food apart.
- 8 Incisors: 4 on top and 4 on the bottom located in the center of your mouth. Your incisors have more of a shovel shape so that you can bite through food easier.
By the time you have reached 5 or 6, your baby teeth have started falling out, one by one to make room for your adult teeth.
By the time most kids are 12 or 13 years old, they have lost all of their baby teeth and have a full set of adult teeth. A full set of adult teeth are 32 teeth in total:
- 12 Molars: Adult molars have the same function and shape as their baby teeth counterparts.
- 8 Pre-Molars: While children only have 8 Molars total, adults have 4 extra Molars, and 8 Pre-Molars. The Pre-Molars, located between the Molars and Canines, have the same function as Molars but are a little smaller.
- 4 Canines: Our Sharp Canines are used for ripping food apart. Carnivores (meat-eating mammals), all have canines in order to help catch their prey!
- 8 Incisors: Our front teeth are the teeth we use to bite into food – creating smaller sized portions for us to gnash and chew. Herbivores (plant-eating mammals) have Incisors to cut through grass, leaves, and fruit!
- Wisdom Teeth: Most adults also have 4 wisdom teeth which emerge sometime between the ages of 17-21. Many adults have to have their wisdom teeth removed as they grow in and cause pressure on the other teeth. For other adults, their wisdom teeth grow in straight, or never grow in at all!
Your adult teeth are permanent, so if you take good care of them, you should have them the rest of your life!