Each Tooth in the Mouth Is Important


Did you know each tooth is necessary in assisting you with the ability to chew, bite, talk and function normally? If you’re like millions of Americans, the teeth are one of the first things you notice when it comes to meeting a person for the first time. A smile is what engages others and gives off a great first impression, especially in situations such as job interviews. Your mouth is made up of the incisors, canines, bicuspids (premolars) and first, second and third molars. It’s important to take care of all your teeth to avoid infections, weakness, tooth decay and gum disease. At Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies, we strive to keep your mouth healthy. Learn why each part of your smile is important!


Smile for that First Impression!

Besides the eyes, your smile is noticed first in about ⅓ of first meetings and is one of the main physical aspects a person remembers later on. Studies have shown that people with whiter and straighter smiles have a better chance against competitors when it comes to landing a professional job. Smiling often can show the confidence level a person has. Those who smile more tend to be perceived as more confident, successful, happy and even more trustworthy. Your teeth literally make a lasting impression on others.


Gum Disease Wreaks Havoc On the Mouth

Because a smile is so important to success, it must be taken care of. Sadly, millions of Americans–64.7 to be exact–don’t practice proper oral hygiene routines, resulting in varying degrees of gum disease.  This is a completely preventable oral disease that starts with poor hygiene. When teeth are not cleaned frequently, a layer of bacteria-infested plaque begins to form. This acidic substance slowly erodes the tooth enamel (the hard outer layer) and leads to tooth decay and cavities. It also erodes the tooth near the gumline. Red, swollen and bleeding gums (known as Gingivitis) eventually turns into severe gum disease (a.k.a. periodontitis). This is when the teeth can actually fall out. 178 million Americans are missing one tooth or more in the mouth. Those numbers add up! Why is this so bad? Each tooth is important in the mouth and we need each one to function properly.


What Each Tooth In the Mouth Does

The teeth allow us to chew and bite properly, which is something we do many times a day when eating. They shape how we speak as well. Missing a tooth here and there can literally change how you talk and sound. When it comes to gum disease, when one tooth is lost, it can lead to a chain reaction of more and more teeth being lost as the gums and jaw lose their strength to keep the teeth in place. Each tooth has it’s own purpose and function though. You might have noticed that some of your teeth look different, and that’s because the mouth is made up of incisors, canines, premolars and molars. You may also notice that your teeth go from small to large when traveling from the front to the back of the mouth. What does each tooth do?

  • Incisors – These are the straight, thin teeth at the very front of your mouth. There is a row of 4 in the upper jaw and a row of 4 in the lower jaw. You tend to use these when you bite into food. These incisors support the way you speak and pronounce words.
  • Canines – These are the pointed teeth in the mouth. There are two in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw that sit on either side of the 4 incisors. They are known as the “canines” as they appear slightly pointed. You might hear them called “cuspids” as well.  Their function is to cut or shear food as you eat (hence the reason they are pointed). They also support the lips and the structure of your mouth.
  • Premolars – Premolars are larger than your front teeth but smaller than your back  molars. They have a flattened top and are generally used to chew the foods you eat. Each person should have 8 premolar teeth: 2 on either side of the mouth both in the upper and lower jaw.
  • Molars – You actually have several molars (which are the large teeth in the back of the mouth on both the upper and lower jaws). These are the widest and flattest in the mouth and are mainly used for chewing food and maintaining the structure of the face. The wisdom teeth are considered the “third molars” and are the four molars at the back of the upper and lower jaw (one on each side of the mouth on top and bottom).


Taking Care of Your Oral Health

All our teeth have a purpose. You can keep all of them if you practice good oral hygiene practices and come in for comprehensive exams and cleanings often. If its been some time since your last cleaning or comprehensive exam, call our Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies office today at (970) 223-8425!