Each permanent tooth serves a specific function, and keeping yours in good shape requires proper oral hygiene. Affordable dental care could make the difference. Your teeth are not just for chewing – their condition also affects your speaking ability, facial shape and general appearance. Maintaining a healthy mouth should be a priority.
Adults normally have 32 permanents, which start to grow in around age 6. The 20 baby ones gradually fall out to make room for the permanents to grow in. A lost permanent tooth will not grow back in, so affordable dental care could be a good investment.
Your pearly whites can be classified into these categories. (This list starts at the back of the mouth and moves toward the front.)
- Wisdom teeth are usually the last molars to come in. These commonly emerge during the teen years. They appear at the very back of the mouth with two on top and two on the bottom. In many cases, they never break through the gum line. People often think that these should be extracted regardless of circumstances, but this is only true if a dentist determines yours will overcrowd the mouth or become infected.
- Molars have a wide surface for grinding and chewing food. Aside from wisdom teeth (which are also considered molars), adults have eight molars, two on each quadrant of the mouth. They are somewhat flat, with four pointed “corners” known as cusps to help mash food.
- Premolars, also known as bicuspids, occupy the space between the molars and the cuspids. Adults have eight, with two in each quadrant. These are similar to but smaller than the molars, with only two cusps on the outside edge of each tooth. They are used to crush and tear food.
- Canines, also called cuspids, are sharp and help the incisors tear food. Adults have only four, one in each quadrant.
- Lateral incisors have a sharp, chisel-shaped edge for biting food. Adults have four lateral incisors, one in each quadrant.
- Central incisors are the four front teeth. There are two on the top and two on the bottom. These are shaped similarly to the lateral incisors, except the two on the top are often significantly larger.
How to Take Care of Them
Careful attention to oral hygiene will help maintain healthy teeth as well as cause any problems or inconsistencies to stand out. If problems are noticed early, the issue can be taken care of before it becomes serious. Regular brushing and flossing should be an important part of your daily routine, and checkups and cleanings at the dentist office can keep excess plaque at bay. If you want to keep your pearly whites in working order for a lifetime, you may want to consider a quality, affordable dental plan.