Types of Teeth Names in English with Their Functions

Types of Teeth Names in English with Their Functions
Types of Teeth Names in English with Their Functions

Teeth are more than just tools for a winning smile; they’re essential players in our daily lives. Our mouths are home to different types of teeth, each with a specific job. From biting and tearing to grinding and chewing, these teeth work together to help us enjoy our favorite foods and maintain our overall health. In this essay, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of teeth, highlighting their special roles and the importance of caring for them to keep our smiles bright and our meals enjoyable.

What are Teeth?

Teeth are the hard things in our mouths that help us chew food. We have different kinds, like incisors for biting, canines for tearing, and molars for grinding. Taking care of our teeth by brushing keeps them healthy. It’s essential for eating and smiling!

How many teeth do humans have?

Humans have two sets of teeth: baby teeth and adult teeth. Babies start with about 20 baby teeth, and as they grow, these teeth fall out. Adults usually have 32 teeth, including different types for biting, tearing, and chewing food. Taking care of our teeth by brushing helps keep them healthy for eating and smiling.

Types of Teeth Names in English with Their Functions
Types of Teeth Names in English with Their Functions

What are the four types of teeth?

The human dentition consists of four main types of teeth, each serving different functions in the process of chewing and breaking down food. These four types of teeth are:


These are the front teeth and are typically the first to erupt. There are four incisors in each quadrant of the mouth (two on the top and two on the bottom). Incisors are sharp and shaped like chisels, making them ideal for cutting and slicing food.


Also known as cuspids, canines are the pointed teeth located next to the incisors. There are two canines in each quadrant. Canines are designed for tearing and grasping food.


Positioned behind the canines, premolars have flat surfaces with cusps (small, rounded projections). There are typically two premolars in each quadrant. Premolars are responsible for crushing and grinding food.


These are the large, flat teeth located at the back of the mouth. Adults usually have three molars in each quadrant, for a total of 12 molars. Molars have broad surfaces and multiple cusps, making them well-suited for grinding and chewing food thoroughly.

The combination of these four types of teeth allows for efficient processing of different types of food during the digestive process.


How do teeth function?

Teeth function by working together to help break down food during the process of digestion. Each type of tooth plays a specific role in this process:

  • Incisors: They’re like scissors, cutting and biting food.
  • Canines: These are like little hooks, helping to tear and grip food.
  • Premolars: They’re like crushers, grinding food into smaller pieces.
  • Molars: These are big grinders at the back, turning food into tiny bits for easier digestion.

When we chew, teeth work together to break down the food. It’s like a teamwork job. After chewing, the smaller pieces can go down into our stomach, and our body can use the nutrients from the food to keep us healthy. So, teeth are our helpful buddies for eating!


What’s the anatomy of a tooth?

The anatomy of a tooth consists of different layers that work together to give the tooth its structure and function. Here are the main components:

  1. Crown: This is the part of the tooth that you can see in your mouth. It’s the part you brush when you clean your teeth.
  2. Root: The roots are like the anchors of the tooth, holding it in your jawbone below your gums.
  3. Enamel: This is the hard, protective layer covering the outside of the tooth. It’s like a shield for your tooth.
  4. Dentin: Under the enamel, there’s a hard layer called dentin. It’s not as tough as enamel but still strong.
  5. Pulp: This is the inside part of the tooth. It has soft tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. It’s like the core or center of the tooth.
  6. Cementum: This covers the tooth’s roots and helps keep the tooth in place.

Remember, taking care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist helps keep all these parts healthy and your smile bright!

What are teeth made of?

Teeth are primarily made up of four tissues, each with its own unique composition:

  1. Enamel: This is the hard, outer layer that protects your teeth. It’s like a strong shield.
  2. Dentin: Under the enamel, there’s another hard layer called dentin. It’s not as tough as enamel but still sturdy.
  3. Pulp: Inside your tooth, there’s a soft part called pulp. It has nerves and blood vessels, like the core or center.
  4. Cementum: This covers the roots of your teeth and helps keep them in place.

So, teeth have a tough outer shield (enamel), a hard layer (dentin), a soft core (pulp), and roots held by cementum. Taking good care of your teeth helps keep all these parts healthy!

Are teeth bones?

Teeth are not bones. Bones are living tissues that can grow and change, while teeth don’t grow like bones do. Teeth have a hard outer layer called enamel, a middle layer called dentin, and a soft inside part called pulp. They help us chew our food. Bones, on the other hand, support our body, protect organs, and can grow and change over time. So, teeth and bones are different but both important for our body!

What are teeth numbers?

Dentists use a universal numbering system to identify and label each tooth in the mouth. The system assigns a unique number to each tooth, and it is typically divided into quadrants. The teeth are numbered as follows:

Permanent Dentition:

  • Upper Right Quadrant (from the perspective of the person being treated):
    • 1st molar: 1
    • 2nd molar: 2
    • 3rd molar (wisdom tooth): 3
  • Upper Left Quadrant:
    • 1st molar: 14
    • 2nd molar: 15
    • 3rd molar (wisdom tooth): 16
  • Lower Left Quadrant:
    • 1st molar: 19
    • 2nd molar: 20
    • 3rd molar (wisdom tooth): 17
  • Lower Right Quadrant:
    • 1st molar: 30
    • 2nd molar: 31
    • 3rd molar (wisdom tooth): 32

Primary (Deciduous) Dentition (for baby teeth):

  • The numbering starts with “A” in the upper right quadrant and progresses to “T” in the lower right quadrant.

So, for example, the upper right permanent central incisor would be tooth number 8, the upper left first molar would be tooth number 14, and so on.

This numbering system helps dentists communicate precisely about specific teeth, especially when discussing treatments or procedures.

Conditions and Disorders

What are the common conditions that can affect my teeth?

Several common conditions and disorders can affect teeth. Here are some of them:

  1. Cavities: Holes in your teeth caused by not cleaning them well, especially after eating sugary stuff.
  2. Gum Disease: Swollen and bleeding gums. If not treated, it can make your teeth wobbly.
  3. Tooth Sensitivity: When your teeth hurt, especially with hot or cold things, because the protective covering is not strong enough.
  4. Tooth Abscess: A really painful infection near your tooth. It can make your face swell.
  5. Tooth Erosion: When your teeth get weak and smaller because of too many acidic foods or drinks.
  6. Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): Grinding or clenching your teeth, often while sleeping. It can make your teeth flat and hurt your jaw.
  7. Misaligned Teeth: When your teeth don’t line up well. It can make chewing tricky and cause jaw pain.
  8. Oral Cancer: A rare but serious condition where there might be sores or changes in your mouth that need checking.
  9. Dry Mouth: When your mouth doesn’t make enough spit. Spit is important to keep your mouth healthy.

Remember, brushing your teeth, eating healthy, and seeing a dentist can help keep these problems away!

What are some common symptoms of conditions affecting my teeth?

Common symptoms of conditions affecting your teeth can vary depending on the specific issue. Here are some general signs to watch for:

  1. Tooth Pain: Persistent or sharp pain in a tooth could be a sign of cavities, tooth decay, or an infection.
  2. Gum Swelling and Bleeding: Swollen, red, or bleeding gums may indicate gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis).
  3. Tooth Sensitivity: Feeling pain or discomfort when consuming hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods may suggest tooth sensitivity.
  4. Bad Breath: Persistent bad breath, even after brushing, could be a sign of dental issues like cavities or gum disease.
  5. Tooth Discoloration: Changes in the color of your teeth, such as dark spots or yellowing, may indicate tooth decay or staining.
  6. Swelling of the Face or Jaw: Swelling in the face or jaw may be a sign of a dental abscess or infection.
  7. Difficulty Chewing or Biting: Pain or difficulty while chewing or biting could be due to misaligned teeth, cavities, or other dental problems.
  8. Clicking or Popping Jaw: Jaw sounds, pain, or difficulty opening or closing your mouth may be related to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues.
  9. Dry Mouth: A persistent feeling of dryness in the mouth could indicate reduced saliva flow, which may contribute to dental problems.
  10. Grinding or Clenching: If you grind or clench your teeth, you may experience jaw pain, headaches, or tooth wear.
  11. Sores or Lumps: Unexplained sores, lumps, or changes in the tissues of your mouth may be signs of oral cancer.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to consult with a dentist. Regular dental check-ups are also crucial for catching potential issues early, even before noticeable symptoms occur. Taking prompt action can help prevent more significant problems and maintain good oral health.

What are some common dental treatments?

Several common dental treatments are available to address various oral health issues. Here are some common dental procedures:

  • Dental Fillings
  • Dental Cleanings
  • Root Canal Treatment
  • Tooth Extractions
  • Dental Crowns
  • Dental Bridges
  • Dental Implants
  • Orthodontic Treatment
  • Dentures
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Dental Sealants
  • Periodontal Treatments
  • Night Guards


How can I keep my teeth healthy?

Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for keeping your teeth healthy. Here are some tips to help you care for your teeth:

  1. Brushing: Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Use a soft toothbrush and brush for two minutes.
  2. Flossing: Floss every day to clean between your teeth and along your gums.
  3. Mouthwash: Rinse with mouthwash to help fight germs and strengthen your teeth.
  4. Eat Healthy: Eat a balanced diet with fruits, veggies, dairy, and less sugary and acidic foods.
  5. Drink Water: Drink lots of water to rinse away food and keep your mouth hydrated.
  6. Chew Gum: Chew sugar-free gum to make more saliva, which protects your teeth.
  7. Protect Your Teeth: Wear a mouthguard for sports and a nightguard if you grind your teeth.
  8. See the Dentist: Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
  9. Quit Smoking: If you smoke, try to quit. It’s better for your teeth and your health.
  10. Limit Alcohol: If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation to keep your mouth healthy.

By doing these things, you’ll have a bright smile and keep your teeth happy!

Additional Common Questions

What if I’m missing teeth?

If you’re missing teeth, there are several options available to address the issue and restore your smile. Here are common solutions:

  1. Dental Implants: It’s like getting a new root for your missing tooth. A special screw goes into your jawbone, and a fake tooth goes on top. It feels and looks very natural.
  2. Dentures: These are removable fake teeth. You can have a full set (like a whole team of teeth) or just a few if you’re missing some.
  3. Dental Bridges: This is like a bridge that fills the gap between your missing teeth. It’s anchored to the neighboring teeth or implants.
  4. Partial Dentures: If you’re missing only a few teeth, a partial denture can fill in the spaces. It’s like a removable puzzle piece for your mouth.
  5. Braces or Aligners: Sometimes, moving your remaining teeth can close the gaps left by missing ones. Braces or aligners might help with that.
  6. Ask Your Dentist: Your dentist can guide you on what’s best for you. They’ll consider your specific situation, health, and budget.

Remember, missing teeth can be fixed, and your dentist will help you find the solution that suits you best!

How does a tooth feel pain?

The sensation of tooth pain is closely connected to the tooth’s structure and the nerves within it. Here’s a simplified explanation:

  1. Enamel: This is the outer layer of your tooth, and it doesn’t feel pain.
  2. Dentin: Under the enamel is dentin, a bit softer and with tiny tubes. If something hot, cold, sweet, or acidic gets through a crack in the enamel, it can reach the dentin and make your tooth feel sensitive or painful.
  3. Pulp: In the middle of your tooth is the pulp, where the nerves are. If there’s a big problem, like a cavity that reaches the pulp, it can cause strong and lasting pain.

So, pain happens when things like hot or cold stuff reach the sensitive parts of your tooth. If you have tooth pain, it’s a good idea to see a dentist to figure out what’s going on. They can help make it feel better!


  1. What is the outermost layer of a tooth?
    • A) Dentin
    • B) Enamel
  2. Which part of the tooth contains nerves and blood vessels?
    • A) Dentin
    • B) Pulp
  3. What is the main purpose of incisors in your mouth?
    • A) Grinding
    • B) Biting and cutting
  4. Which dental treatment involves replacing missing teeth with artificial roots?
    • A) Dental Implants
    • B) Dentures
  5. What should you do to keep your teeth healthy?
    • A) Brush regularly
    • B) Skip brushing
  6. Which part of the tooth is affected by tooth sensitivity?
    • A) Enamel
    • B) Dentin
  7. What can chewing sugar-free gum help with?
    • A) Tooth decay
    • B) Making your teeth flat
  8. Which condition involves inflammation of the gums?
    • A) Cavity
    • B) Gingivitis
  9. What is the purpose of dental bridges?
    • A) Remove tartar
    • B) Replace missing teeth
  10. What do dentures do?
    • A) Help you run faster
    • B) Replace missing teeth
  11. How can you protect your teeth during contact sports?
    • A) Wear a mouthguard
    • B) Skip protection
  12. What causes tooth pain when eating hot or cold foods?
    • A) Enamel
    • B) Dentin
  13. What is the main purpose of dental cleanings?
    • A) Making teeth dirty
    • B) Removing plaque and tartar
  14. What is the name for the tiny tubes in dentin that can feel sensitivity?
    • A) Tubular highways
    • B) Dentinal tubules
  15. Which part of the tooth is like the “heart” and contains nerves and blood vessels?
    • A) Enamel
    • B) Pulp


  1. B) Enamel
  2. B) Pulp
  3. B) Biting and cutting
  4. A) Dental Implants
  5. A) Brush regularly
  6. B) Dentin
  7. A) Tooth decay
  8. B) Gingivitis
  9. B) Replace missing teeth
  10. B) Replace missing teeth
  11. A) Wear a mouthguard
  12. B) Dentin
  13. B) Removing plaque and tartar
  14. B) Dentinal tubules
  15. B) Pulp


Q1. How often should I visit the dentist?

It is generally recommended to visit the dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings every six months. However, individual needs may vary, and your dentist will provide guidance based on your oral health.

Q2. How can I prevent cavities?

To prevent cavities, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and reducing the consumption of sugary and acidic foods.

Q3. What is the best way to brush my teeth?

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Brush for at least two minutes, covering all surfaces of your teeth with gentle, circular motions. Don’t forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.

Q4. Is flossing really necessary?

Yes, flossing is crucial for removing plaque and debris between teeth and along the gumline that a toothbrush may miss. It helps prevent cavities and gum disease.

Q5. Can I whiten my teeth at home?

There are various over-the-counter teeth whitening products available, but it’s recommended to consult with a dentist before use. Professional teeth whitening procedures performed by a dentist yield more effective and safer results.

Q6. How can I manage tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can be managed by using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, avoiding acidic foods and drinks, and maintaining good oral hygiene. If sensitivity persists, consult with your dentist.

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