We expect a lot from our teeth, but it’s easy to take for granted the work they do until something goes wrong and one or more is out of commission.
Your Teeth Do a Lot More Than Chew!
Losing one or more teeth means that teeth that had one specific purpose now have to take up the work of the missing tooth. Let’s take a look at what each type of tooth does so you can understand how important it is to keep them all healthy:
Incisors are the front teeth that are most obvious when you smile. They have a flat edge that bites into food, and incisors also support your lips and help you pronounce certain words.
Canines are the pointy “Dracula teeth” on either side of the incisors. You have two on top and two on the bottom. Also called cuspids, canines cut or shear food, support your lips, and help guide the upper and lower jaw into proper position.
Premolars, or bicuspids, sit next to the canines, with four on the upper jaw and four on the lower. They have a flat bottom that helps you chew and also maintain the height of your face.
Molars are the large teeth in the back of your mouth. Their wide, flat surface makes them perfect for chewing food, and they also maintain the height of your face.
What This Information Means to You
Now you have enough information to understand that your teeth do more than just chew food. When all your teeth are healthy, they work together to help you speak and smile confidently while supporting your lips and cheeks to give your face a fuller, more youthful appearance.
Understanding the job that each tooth does should also help you see how significant the loss of a single tooth is. This is all the more reason to keep current with exams and cleaning appointments to make sure they remain healthy.
If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment with Summerville, SC dentist Dr. Thomas Riley, please give us a call!