An Informative Guide To 4 Different Types Of Teeth

Our teeth change as we age. We often don’t pay much attention to our teeth, but they are responsible for many functions like chewing food, talking, smiling, and many more.

Our mouth consists of different types of teeth1. Each of them plays a specific role and is located in a certain place in our mouth. This article will detail the 4 different types of teeth along with their primary function.

How Many Sets Of Teeth Do Humans Have?

perfect set of teeth
By Josep Suria/

Humans usually have two sets of teeth, namely the primary set and the second set. The primary teeth start appearing by the time a child is six months old. The second set, also known as the permanent teeth, starts to appear between six and twelve.

Humans start with 20 primary teeth and finally end up with 32 permanent adult teeth, which include 4 wisdom teeth also.

Among the different types of teeth, the first ones to arrive in our mouth are the incisors, which appear when the baby turns 6 months old. The permanent adult teeth start appearing at the age of 6, and wisdom teeth usually appear between 17 and 25 years of age.

Different Layers Of The Adult Teeth

The human teeth are made up of the following layers:

1. Enamel

The enamel is the outermost layer of our teeth and is the hardest substance in our body. Their main function is to protect our teeth from plaque and bacteria and the damage caused by them. The enamel is made up of calcium, phosphorous, and hydroxyapatite.2

2. Dentin

The second layer of our teeth is dentin, located just under the enamel. It is softer than the enamel and can cause severe sensitivity when exposed.

3. Pulp

The pulp is the deepest layer of our teeth and consists of blood vessels, nerves, and other issues that provide nutrients to our teeth.

4. Cementum

Cementum 3is located under the gums and on the root of our teeth. It is usually softer than the enamel and dentin. When the gums are not taken care of properly, they shrink and expose the cementum to the damage caused by plaque and bacteria.4

Different Types Of Teeth

teeth structure
By Macrovector/

Here is a list of the different types of teeth, along with their functions

1. Incisors:

The four front teeth located in the upper and lower jaws of our mouth are called incisors. Both adults and children have 8 incisors, and their main function is to bite into food and cut them into smaller pieces.

Incisors are pointed teeth that have a single root with very sharp edges and look like small chisels. The two incisors present in the mid-teeth region are called central incisors, while the two teeth next to the central incisors are called lateral incisors.5

Incisors are also the first set of teeth to appear in children around 6 months old. In the case of adults, the incisor set appears between the ages of 6 and 8.

2. Canines

Canines are the next one among the different types of teeth. They are 4 in number, 2 in the maxillary arch, and 2 in the mandibular area.6 Similar to incisors, canines are also pointed teeth with sharp edges, and their main function is to tear food.

Both children and adults have 4 canine teeth. The baby canines usually appear around the ages of 16 and 20 months. The canines appear first in the upper jaw, followed by the lower canines in the lower jaw.

3. Premolars

Premolars, also called bicuspids, a7re teeth located between canines and molars in the back of our mouth. They are situated next to the canines to help us crush and chew food. Adults have a total of eight premolars in their oral cavity, 2 in each quadrant of the mouth.

Premolars are permanent teeth and do not appear until a child is 10 to 12 years; as a result, they are not found in young children.

4. Molars

Molars are the biggest and strongest set of teeth among the other different types of teeth. They are 12 in number, with six each on the upper and lower jaw. Children usually start with 8 molars, and others begin to appear eventually as they grow.

Molars are the last row of teeth situated at the end of the jaw. The last molars to appear are the wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars. They generally appear between the ages of 17 to 25. Individuals may experience discomfort when the wisdom teeth start pushing their way through the gums. In case of unbearable pain or swelling, they must immediately approach a dentist.

A few people may not have all 4 wisdom teeth as the teeth may stay inside the bone itself and never erupt and appear in the mouth. In other cases, wisdom teeth will come only halfway through; this can higher the risk of infection or damage in the surrounding areas.

The molars are responsible for grinding up the food we consume; these molars break it into small pieces for us to make it swallow easily.

Read more about the different types of teeth.

Tips To Take Care Of Your Teeth

  • Brush at least twice a day, if possible, after every meal.
  • Make sure to opt for toothpaste and mouthwash that have fluoride in them.
  • Floss daily using an interdental cleaner.
  • Do not avoid your tongue; clean them well as you brush your teeth daily. Neglecting the tongue causes not only bad odor but also other oral problems.
  • Stay away from constant snacking throughout the day. When high-sugar foods and beverages are consumed, they can destroy our tooth’s enamel.

All the different types of teeth in our mouths are essential to chew and grind food properly. They are also responsible for many other functions like talking and smiling. Therefore, one should take proper care of the different types of teeth and maintain good oral health to last longer.

Pay a visit to the dentist regularly for a checkup to make sure all the different types of teeth in your mouth are in good condition and get appropriate treatments if there are any problems.

Infographic That Explains Jaw Deformity Problems, Symptoms, and Treatment
Icy Health


Q. What is the smallest tooth?

  • Mandibular Central Incisors (24 and No. 25) are the smallest and simplest teeth and are bilaterally symmetric. Each has a small centred cingulum, subtle lingual fossa, and equally subtle marginal ridges. The crown of a mandibular central incisor is narrower on the lingual surface than on the labial surface.

Q. Which is the 1st loose tooth?

  • The first teeth to get loose are the bottom central incisors (the teeth in the very front). Tooth loss usually happens in pairs, so when the right central incisor gets loose, expect the left-side counterpart to follow suit within the upcoming weeks or months.

Q. Which tooth is loose by age?

  • All four center teeth, known as bottom and top incisors, usually fall out in the 6-8 year range. The sharp teeth beside them (called canines or cuspids) as well as the first molars leave a little later, around 9-12 years old. The second molars are often the last to go typically in the 10-12 year range.


Proofread by:

Dr. Foram Bhuta

Dentist (B.D.S)
  1. Krivanek, Jan, Igor Adameyko, and Kaj Fried. “Heterogeneity and developmental connections between cell types inhabiting teeth.” Frontiers in physiology 8 (2017): 276035. ↩︎
  2. Szcześ, Aleksandra, Lucyna Hołysz, and Emil Chibowski. “Synthesis of hydroxyapatite for biomedical applications.” Advances in colloid and interface science 249 (2017): 321-330. ↩︎
  3. Diekwisch, T. G. “The developmental biology of cementum.” International Journal of Developmental Biology 45.5-6 (2004): 695-706. ↩︎
  4. Kolenbrander, Paul E., et al. “Bacterial interactions and successions during plaque development.” Periodontology 2000 42.1 (2006): 47-79. ↩︎
  5. Andrade, D. C. M., et al. “Treatment for agenesis of maxillary lateral incisors: a systematic review.” Orthodontics & craniofacial research 16.3 (2013): 129-136. ↩︎
  6. Schubert, Warren, Brian J. Kobienia, and Richard A. Pollock. “Cross-sectional area of the mandible.” Journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery 55.7 (1997): 689-692. ↩︎
  7. Braverman, Alan C., et al. “The bicuspid aortic valve.” Current problems in cardiology 30.9 (2005): 470-522. ↩︎

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