Most of us take our teeth for granted, we don’t realise what damage we do to our teeth and how precious they really are, it’s not until something goes wrong we realise how much we rely on our them.  Having bad teeth can have an effect on our overall health; they have a very important role in chewing and helping digest food that we are able to swallow. Our teeth help us to speak, you may not realise how vital they are when we talk but its not until they are gone then you can hear the difference.


Humans have two set of teeth that grow through, we have our baby teeth (primary) then once they have fallen out our adult (permanent) teeth come through. Even though these sets of teeth come through at different times of growing up the development of the two sets are very similar. Some facts you may not know about teeth:

  • Teeth usually erupt in parallel, meaning that the teeth growing through on the left side will be the same on the right hand side. There may be a slight delay but once you get one tooth one side the other side will be through shortly.
  • Tooth development starts long before the tooth is actually visible! Your first set of teeth comes throu gh at the age of 6 months; these teeth have actually been developing since the second trimester of pregnancy.
  • The crown of the tooth develops first (the area of the tooth you can see) while the root of the tooth will continue to grown into the gum.
  • At the age of three all 20 baby teeth should be fully erupted and until the age of 6 they will start to wobbly and full out making room for you adult teeth to come through.
  • Adult teeth start to erupt at the age of 6 until age of 12. A full set of teeth in an adult will consist of 32 adult teeth which includes 4 wisdom teeth. These permanent teeth take a lot longer to fully erupt than the baby teeth.

The 5 different types of teeth and what there roles are:

Teeth are vital in the process of chewing and digesting food, they make it a lot easier to consume food than people without teeth. Each type of teeth2tooth plays a different role and is slightly different in shape. Types of teeth include:

  • Incisors- these are the most visible teeth in the mouth, they are the 8 front teeth in the centre of your mouth (for at the top, four at the bottom). These teeth have the role of biting in to foods, for example biting in to an apple you use your 8 front teeth to bite in to. Incisors are the first few teeth in the mouth to erupt at around 6 months old, and then around 6-8 the adult set of incisors develop.
  • Canines- the canines are the next four teeth to develop in the mouth, two at the top each side of the mouth then two at the bottom each side. These are the sharpest teeth in the mouth; some people can have bigger canines than others. Their main role is for ripping and tearing tough foods apart. At the age of 16-20 months the primary canines develop with upper canines erupting before the lower canines. With the permanent teeth the lower canines erupt first before the upper canines and this is usually around the ages of 11-12.
  • Premolars­- premolars (bicuspids) are used for chewing and grinding down food to make it easier for you to eat and swallow the food. On each side of your mouth you should have 4 premolars, two on the upper and two on the lower. These teeth arrive around the age of 10.
  • Molars- primary molars are used as well for chewing and grinding down food. Morals develop between the ages of 1 year and 15months old; as a child molars will erupt but as an adult will be replaced by the 8 premolars when they fall out. The permanent molars as an adult don’t replace any teeth they just erupt through behind the baby teeth.
  • Third Molars- these are known as your wisdom teeth. Some people will never have their wisdom teeth grow through but usually they will develop between the ages of 18-20, they may develop later in life aswell. Wisdom teeth can develop very easily not causing much pain, just an ache where they are pushing through the gum but with other can cause serious problem, either not developing straight but at an angle or causing crowding in the mouth putting pressure on all the other teeth meaning they will have to be taken out.

At Parrock Street Dental we make sure all our patients know the importance of good oral hygiene. To make sure you clean and floss your teeth on a regular basis, twice a day, to be aware of how smoking effects the teeth, eating a healthy diet can save the teeth from erosion and to make sure you come to have your regular dental cleans and check ups. This is to prevent anything building up or erosion happening and not being seen, which can develop in to something more painful instead of having just a little filling.

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About the author Dr Rik Trivedi

Dr Rik Trivedi

Dr Rik Trivedi is the Principal dentist at Parrock Dental & Implant Centres. He has a keen interest in Cosmetic Smile Dentistry and braces, Dental implants, Facial Aesthetics, Prevention and is very experienced in the design and placement of Cerec Same Day Crown technology.