Types of Teeth and Their Functions

Types of teeth

Understanding the different types of teeth and their functions is essential for maintaining optimal oral health. Each type of tooth has a unique role in the digestive process, from cutting and tearing food to grinding it down for swallowing. This blog post will explore the various types of human teeth, their specific functions, and why taking care of each one is crucial for a healthy smile.

What are teeth?

Teeth are hard, calcified structures in the mouth, essential for breaking down food. They play a critical role in speech and maintaining the shape of the face. There are different types of teeth, each designed for specific functions, contributing to overall oral health.

How many teeth do humans have?

Humans typically have 32 teeth, including wisdom teeth. These teeth are divided into four types, each with unique functions that are vital for eating and speaking.

What are the 4 types of teeth?

Humans have four types of teeth: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Each type of tooth has a specific role in the digestive process, from cutting food to grinding it down for swallowing.Types of Teeth

Incisors: What is the function of the incisors?

Incisors are the front teeth, with a total of eight in an adult human – four on the top and four on the bottom. The central incisors are located in the very center, while the lateral incisors are next to them. The primary function of the incisors is to cut food into smaller, manageable pieces. They have a sharp, thin edge ideal for slicing.

Canines: What is the function of canines?

Canine teeth are located next to the incisors. Humans have four canines, one on each side of the upper and lower jaws. The primary function of the canines is to tear and grasp food. Their pointed shape makes them perfect for puncturing and holding onto food, complementing the cutting action of the incisors.

Premolars: What is the function of premolars?

Premolar teeth are located between the canines and the molars. Adults typically have eight premolars, four on the top and four on the bottom. The primary function of the premolars is to crush and tear food. Their flat surfaces with ridges are designed for grinding food down, preparing it for the molars.

Molars: What is the function of molars?

Molars are the largest teeth located at the back of the mouth. Adults usually have 12 molars, including four wisdom teeth. The primary function of the molars is to grind food into smaller particles, making it easier to swallow and digest. Their broad, flat surfaces are ideal for this purpose, ensuring that food is thoroughly processed.


In conclusion, all types of teeth play essential roles in our overall oral health. Regardless of their function, it is crucial to take good care of every tooth. Regular visits to a professional dentist can help prevent complications and maintain a healthy smile. For more information on choosing the best dentist, check out our previous blog, where we provide detailed and step-by-step guidance.

Exceptional Dental Care at Smile Makeover of LA

At Smile Makeover of LA, we prioritize your safety and provide outstanding dental care for you and your family. Our dedicated team of dentists and dental professionals is prepared to offer top-quality dental services at our Glendale, CA location. From comprehensive smile makeovers and dental implants to orthodontics and wisdom tooth extractions, we possess the expertise to cater to all your dental needs.