Know Your Teeth

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You use your teeth every day for chewing food, chatting with friends, and smiling for photos. But even though teeth are a constant in your life, you may not know a lot about them. Here is some information about the names, shapes, and functions of the different teeth in your mouth.


  • These are the teeth located in the front of your mouth that use their sharp, straight edge to cut food into pieces.
  • These teeth look flat in shape, but they actually curve towards the back of the mouth.
  • The name incisor comes from the Latin word “incidere,” which means “to cut.”
  • These teeth have one long root.


  • These are also known as eye teeth and canine teeth.
  • These teeth have a point (which is called a cusp) that rips and tears at food.
  • Cuspids are crucial to the formation and function of your bite.
  • These teeth have the longest roots of your teeth.


  • These teeth are also known as premolars.
  • Children do not have premolars in their mouth.
  • These teeth usually have two cusps (hence the name bicuspids) and a broad surface used to crush food.


  • These are the largest of the teeth and the last to erupt.
  • These teeth have several cusps in their wide, flat surface which they use to grind food.
  • Molars have 2-3 roots.

Wisdom Teeth

  • These are also known as the third molars.
  • These teeth erupt in the young adult years, or the “age of wisdom.”
  • Wisdom teeth often require removal because our jaws are not large enough to hold them. The wisdom teeth usually either partially erupt or become impacted.