Maida Smiles (W. London)

Tel: 020 3974 1777

20 May

Do You Know All the Human Teeth Names?


Your teeth are divided into incisors, cuspids, premolars and molars.

You have 32 permanent teeth at most, but you start with 20 baby teeth, including incisors, canines and molars, per the American Dental Association (ADA). Getting a little brush up—pun intended—on all the human teeth names, each type’s location and their function can help you better understand why oral care is so important.

Incisors Slice Food

Your smile begins with your incisors. These eight teeth are at the front of your mouth, with four on top and four on bottom, as Ireland’s Dental Health Foundation explains. Your incisors mainly work to slice and dice food into more easily chewable pieces. There are two types of incisors:

  • Central Incisors: These incisors are directly in the middle of your mouth. According to the ADA tooth chart, they are typically the first teeth to erupt for babies and the first to fall out to make room for permanent adult teeth. They’re also particularly prone to fractures and breaking. Per a report in Sports Health, injuries to the upper central incisors are common during sports, so children and athletes need special protection, such as a mouth guard, when engaging in sports.
  • Lateral Incisors: Your front two teeth might have a “central” role in your smile, but the teeth just next to these — your lateral incisors — also help to form the perception of a great smile. A study in periodontics and prosthodontics points out that the shape, location, and position of these teeth, which are about your central incisors, make up the “golden proportion,” which is the size relationship humans perceive as visually pleasing.

Cuspids Grip and Tear Food

Your four cuspids are the fang-like teeth that sit next to your lateral incisors. They’re also often known as eye teeth (in the case of the upper two) or canines. As the Dental Health Foundation notes, these teeth have a sharp, biting surface and help you clamp down on food and tear it. Their position in your mouth also helps to guide your teeth and food into an optimal chewing position, according to the Advantage Career Institute Medical & Dental School (ACI) in the United States.

Premolars Crush Food

Your premolars are the next teeth adjacent to your canines, and they’re found only in your permanent set of teeth. These eight teeth help you crush food, as the Dental Health Foundation explains. In terms of human teeth names, they are also referred to as bicuspids — a term which indicates that they have two points, according to the Dictionary of Medicine.

Molars Grind Up Food

Your molars are located in the back of your mouth and are the main teeth you use for chewing, as the Advantage Career Institute Medical & Dental School (ACI) notes. In a full set of permanent teeth, there will be six molars in total, with three on the top and three on the bottom:

  • First and Second Molars: Your first molars are located toward the back of your mouth next to your second premolars. Behind them are your second molars, as the ADA chart outlines. These teeth have pits and fissures, grooves that can harbour bacteria and decay. As the ADA explains, your dentist may recommend dental sealants to protect these teeth from cavities.
  • Third Molars: Your third molars — also known as wisdom teeth — are the furthest teeth in the back of your mouth. They’re unique because they are the last to erupt into the mouth and often need to be extracted, as the Advantage Career Institute Medical & Dental School (ACI) notes.