Dr. Tal Lewinger Dental NewsDr. Tal Lewinger is a general dentist and owner of Marketplace Dentistry in Vaughan, Ontario practising eco-responsible (and fun) family and cosmetic dentistry and

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4 Types of Teeth and How They Function

Tal Lewinger - Friday, April 27, 2018



Everyone is guilty of taking teeth for granted, that is until something goes awry. Our teeth play an important role in chewing, digesting, speech, and overall health. The best way to maintain your teeth is by understanding all there is to know.




- We have two sets of teeth, baby and permanent. Though the timing may be different, the way they develop is similar.


  • - Teeth erupt in parallels, the top molar on the left tends to appear when the top on the right does.
  • - The crown forms first, once it has erupted the roots continue development.
  • - The development of teeth starts before they are visible. For instance, your baby may get their first tooth around six months old, those teeth started developing in the pregnancy’s second trimester.
  • - There are 20 baby teeth and they have arrived by the age of three, and generally start falling out at the age of six.
  • - Permanent teeth arrive between the ages of six and 12, and the majority of adults have 32 teeth.


Our teeth are divided into two parts: the crown and the root. The crown is visible, and the root dips goes below the gum line, anchoring your tooth to the bone. They have four tissue types, each doing their own job.


  • - Enamel. This coats the visible surface of the teeth, and protects against tooth decay.
  • - Dentin. Below the enamel is dentist, a calcification similar to bone. It isn’t as hard as enamel, so if your enamel wears away, the dentin is at greater risk of decay.
  • - Cementum. The cementum is a tissue that covers the root, keeping it in place in the bone. It’s softer than both enamel dentin, so it’s vital to protect it by taking care of your gums. It’s light yellow in color and covered by gum tissue.
  • - Pulp. This is at your tooth’s center, it contains nerves, soft tissues, and blood vessels.

Four Types of Teeth

  • Incisors. You have four incisors on top and four on the bottom, they’re the 8th teeth at front and center. They are the teeth that bite food, and generally are first to arrive for baby and permanent.
  • Canines. The next teeth to arrive are your four canines. They are the sharpest teeth and rip and tear at your food. Babies see them arrive around 16 months, and for permanent teeth the lower arrive around nine, with the uppers coming in at 11 or so.
  • Premolars. Also known as your bicuspids, these chew and grind your food. There are four bicuspids on each side of the mouth, two on the lower jaw, and two on the upper. The first set arrive at age 10, and the second set by 11.
  • Molars.Your primary molars are also for chewing and grinding your food. They first appear at around 12 months, and are called deciduous molars. They are later replaced by the four upper and four lower first and second premolars. Permanent molars erupt before the primary molars are gone, around six, and the second molars come by the age of 13.




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