Dr. Bruce Matthews, DDS

What Does Each Tooth Do? A Guide to Understanding the Role Each Plays

A denture sits on a white backdrop | Wilmington DE Dental Implants

Your teeth are designed to function together, enabling you to eat comfortably and speak clearly. If one of your teeth is missing or damaged, you will find yourself shifting foods around in your mouth to find a comfortable way to eat. When you do this, you are essentially asking other teeth to perform jobs that they aren't meant to do.

Four Different Types of Teeth

When you understand the role each tooth plays, you can easily see how the loss of function can impact your day-to-day life. 

  • Incisors are the thin straight teeth that are most obvious when you smile. There are four on the top, and four on the bottom, and they support your lips, help you bite into foods and pronounce words.
  • Canines, or cuspids, are the four slightly pointed teeth that are next to the incisors on the top and bottom. Not only do these teeth aid in speaking and eating, but they also guide your upper and lower jaw into position.
  • Bicuspids, or premolars, sit behind the canines and have a flat surface for chewing. Bicuspids also maintain the height of your face.
  • Molars are the teeth farthest back in your mouth. Their broad surfaces contain grooves that crush foods as you chew. They also help to support your cheeks for a full appearance.

Maintaining Your Oral Health

You can see the effect a single lost or missing tooth on your comfort, appearance, and oral health. The best way to ensure that all your teeth are healthy and free of problems is to brush and floss diligently and keep up with routine dental exams and cleanings.

When a problem does occur, you need to have it addressed as quickly as possible to restore comfort and function and protect your other teeth. 

If you are looking for the best dentist in Wilmington, DE to provide all the treatments you need for a healthy smile, please call Dr. Bruce Matthews to arrange a consultation.