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Types of Teeth

Types Of Teeth & How They Function

The teeth and the structure of the mouth play a huge role in a person’s ability to speak, eat and stay healthy. Teeth also have a significant impact on most people’s self-confidence more so when it comes to smiling, laughing and talking in public. Most people with discolored or crooked teeth find it hard to be comfortable smiling or talking in front of people. Even so, most people take their teeth for granted. That is until something goes wrong.

The teeth don’t just help chew and digest food but also impact our speech and health. Taking good care of your teeth by brushing, flossing and rinsing regularly will keep you from a lot of dental problems. Learning more about dental health will further help take better care of your teeth by giving them the attention they deserve. How much do you know about your teeth?

Are you looking for new teeth-in-a-day to transform your loose teeth or old dentures into a confidence-boosting smile? If so, Dr. Adam Chapnick, a renowned cosmetic dentist in Toronto, is here for you. We will make sure your self-esteem remains high as you improve your social connections. The immediately functional Toronto cosmetic dentistry we provide will get you talking, smiling, and laughing without any worries.

How Teeth Develop

Humans have two sets of teeth which are the primary (baby) and the permanent (adult) teeth. These sets of teeth develop in stages. However, although these sets of teeth develop at different timing, the development is similar. Here are a couple of interesting facts about teeth development.

Teeth erupt in a symmetrical manner. What this means is that the top molar on the left side will grow in at almost the same time as the top molar on the right. This is according to the Shantanu Lal, doctor of dental surgery and an associate professor of dental medicine in the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

The development of a tooth starts long before you see the first tooth. The tooth of a baby will show after about six months after birth. However, the development of those teeth will have started during the second trimester of pregnancy. This is according to Dr. Shantanu Lal.

The crown is the part of the tooth that forms first. The roots will continue to develop long after the tooth erupts.

The 20 primary teeth will have grown by the time a child is 2 to 3 years old. They will remain in place until the age of 6. The primary teeth will fall off from the age of 6 through the age of 12. The primary teeth fall off to create room for the permanent teeth.

The growth of adult teeth starts between the ages of 6 and 12. The majority of adults have a total of 32 permanent teeth.


A tooth has two basic parts: crown and root. The crown is the visible white part whereas the root is buried in the gum. The work of the root is to anchor the tooth in the jawbone. There are also four kinds of tissues that make up a tooth and they all serve different purposes.


This is the part that covers the crown of the tooth. It is translucent and considered to be the hardest tissue in the human body. The work of the enamel is to protect the vital tissues within the tooth. It is made up of calcium, phosphorus, and hydroxyapatite. Since it has no living tissues, once it is damaged the enamel cannot be repaired naturally by the body. You need to talk to your dentist to help with the repairs.


This is the part directly under the enamel. It is calcified and looks like bone. The dentin is the part that gives your teeth color. It is not as hard as the enamel so it is at a high risk of decay if it is exposed. As a matter of fact, teeth problems mostly start when the enamel is broken or wears out and the dentin is exposed.


This is the tissue at the center and core of the teeth. It contains nerves, blood vessels and other soft tissues that provide signals and nutrients to the teeth. If exposed, the pain will be unbearable.


This is the tissue that covers the root of the teeth and helps the tooth to be strongly anchored into the jawbone. Cementum is softer than both enamel and dentin. The only way you can take care of this part of the tooth is to practice good oral hygiene. You have to take good care of your gums in order to keep this tissue well protected. The cementum is light yellow in color and is covered by both the gums and the bone. Even so, inadequate dental care can cause the gums to be diseased and shrink thus exposing this tissue to harmful bacteria and plaque.

Types Of Teeth & Their Function

The primary function of teeth is to chew food to make it easy to digest. All in all, each type of tooth has its own unique shape and function. There are five main types of teeth in an adult.


These are the eight teeth located in front of your mouth. There are four incisors on the upper jaw and four in the lower jaw. The primary function of these teeth is to bite. These are also the first teeth that erupt at around 6 months of age. The adult set of incisors will grow between the age of 6 and 8. Needless to say, these are the teeth that affect how your smile looks.


There are a total of four canines. These teeth come immediately after the incisors. These are the sharpest teeth and are often referred to as fangs. Their primary work is to rip and tear food apart. The primary set of canines appears between the age of 16 and 20 months. The upper canines come in before the lower canines. With the adult sets, the order is reversed in that the lower canines appear at age 9 whereas the upper canines will appear between the age of 11 and 12.


These are also referred to as bicuspids. They are used for chewing and grinding food. There are four premolars on each side of the mouth: two on the upper and two on the lower jaw. Unlike the incisors and canines, there are no primary sets of premolars. You will only have the adult set which appears at around the age of 10. The second premolars will appear a year later. Premolars take the place of the first and second primary molars.


The work of the molars is also to chew and grind food. The primary molars, which are known as the deciduous molars, erupt between 12 and 28 months after birth. These primary molars are usually replaced by the first and second premolars. There are four upper and four lower premolars.

The permanent molars, which are four upper and four lower, don’t replace the primary teeth. They grow behind the premolars. The first permanent molars will erupt at around the age of 6. This happens before the primary molars fall out. The second molars will then come in between the ages of 11 and 13.

Third Molars

These are commonly referred to as the wisdom teeth. They are the last teeth to develop. These teeth don’t erupt until a person is over the age of 18. It is also good to note that some people develop their third molars much later in life while others never develop these third molars at all. For most of the people who develop the third molars, they end up causing crowding and often times need to be removed. If the third molars fail to erupt fully, they are considered to be impacted and they are usually removed.


Fiber-Rich Fruits & Vegetables

Foods that are high in fibers help clean your teeth and gums. This is according to the American Dental Association. These foods will also get the saliva flowing thus maintaining a good pH around your teeth. Next to good dental care, eating fiber-rich foods is the best natural defense against gum disease and cavities.

Dairy Products

Cheese is a great saliva maker. The calcium in dairy products helps put back the minerals that your teeth might have lost. Dairy products will also help strengthen your tooth enamel.

Green & Black Teas

These teas contain polyphenols which interact with plaque bacteria. These substances will hold back or kill bacteria. As a result, taking these teas will help prevent the growth of bacteria. Depending on the water you use to make your tea, a cup of tea will be a source of fluoride.

Sugarless Chewing Gum

This is a remarkable saliva maker. Chewing will also remove food particles from the mouth.

Foods With Fluoride

Any food that contains fluoride, including fluoridated drinking water will help your teeth. You also should switch to a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash that contains fluoride.

Your mouth is very important. You must never take your teeth and oral health for granted. To achieve good dental health you need to brush and floss your teeth daily. You should also avoid smoking. You also need to eat a healthy diet and see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. A healthy mouth makes a healthy body and a pretty smile. 

We are a Family Friendly Practice

At Molson Park Dental Office, we provide family dentistry services. Toronto and Barrie dentist, Dr. Adam Chapnick works with every child to build trust and comfort through the entire dental visit process.


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