A mother holds her smiling freckled daughter on a beach

Four Different Types Of Teeth Plus More

Ever wonder about all the different types of teeth we have and what their unique roles are? Teeth are known to help you bite and chew. They also play an important role in allowing you to speak too. Plus, they support many aspects of your facial structure.

There are four kinds of teeth located in your mouth, and each one performs a slightly different function. As you read on, we'll go into each type and cover where they're located and what they do. Then, we'll look at some rarer kinds of teeth that can occur in a growing jaw.


Let's start with incisors. Ever wonder what the front teeth are called? They're the incisors. There are eight in total: four on the top and four on the bottom. Their role is to help you bite into the food you eat and to help you pronounce words and sounds as you speak. They also support the lips.


Now for the canines! On both sides of the lower and upper incisors, there is a single canine tooth. So there are four in total. Dentists call these slightly pointed teeth cuspids. So if you hear your dentist drop that word, you'll know what they're talking about.

Like incisors, canines cut or shear food so you can eat and digest. They also play a role in supporting your lips. In addition, canines help guide your teeth into place when the upper and lower jaws come together.


Premolars are next. They're found behind the canines, and dentists call them the bicuspid. They have a flattened top and are used to really chew your food.

They also maintain the height of your face. There are eight premolars in your mouth: four on the top and four on the bottom.


Now, for the well-known molars! Next to the premolars are the molars. These are your widest, flattest teeth. And you have 12 of them: six on the top and six on the bottom. Of these 12, the wisdom teeth are the four molars at the back of both the lower and upper jaw. As you may know, they're the last teeth to erupt during young adulthood and can be painful.

Like premolars, molars are used to chew food and maintain the height of the face. And now for a fun fact: upper molars have three roots, and lower molars have two.

Supernumerary Teeth

Sometimes teeth develop abnormally. One example of this is supernumerary teeth. This is when extra teeth appear in the mouth.

The most common type of supernumerary tooth occurs as an extra incisor. It's located between two central incisors and is known as mesiodens. There can also be an extra molar, called a paramolar. Or a molar behind the third molar called a distomolar. It's also possible to develop extra canine teeth.

Natal Teeth

Most babies aren't born with teeth. But natal teeth–teeth that appear at birth are a thing. Natal teeth (aka fetal teeth) usually appear in the lower gum. They often have weak or nonexistent roots and can fall out easily. For that reason, doctors typically advise having them removed to avoid the baby's risk of inhaling the tooth. Natal teeth pose other risks as well. They can also irritate the baby's tongue or even the mother while nursing. Natal teeth are usually an isolated incident, but they can be a symptom of other medical conditions.

Now you know the scoop on all kinds of teeth types, including incisors, canines, premolars, molars, and even supernumerary and natal teeth. With healthy teeth, eating and speaking are possible and comfortable. Whatever kind of teeth we are talking about, it's essential to look after all of them. That means brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and having regular dental checkups. If you need to step up your oral care game, go for it. We hope understanding all the types of teeth and their roles motivates you to keep your oral health on point.

Want more tips and offers sent directly to your inbox?

Sign up now

Mobile Top Image

Was this article helpful?

Thank you for submitting your feedback!

If you’d like a response, Contact Us.

Mobile Bottom Image