Learn about the different kinds of teeth in your mouth and what they do from the best orthodontist in Fort Collins CO

The Different Kinds of Teeth That Make up Your Smile

You use your teeth every day, but do you ever put any thought into what the different kinds of teeth are and what they do? We certainly don’t blame you if you don’t. However, getting a better understanding of your teeth can help you appreciate the benefits of orthodontic treatment a little more while giving you some insight into the importance of each tooth. After all, getting an ideal smile means making sure every tooth is positioned just right.


Starting with the most visible teeth, your incisors are the eight teeth positioned right in front of your smile, with four on the upper jaw and four on the lower jaw. They are important for creating your identifiable smile, but they also are essential for biting into food. Their long, sharp edges allow you to effectively chow down without putting too much effort into the process.

Your incisors are also essential in allowing you to speak clearly. If these teeth are damaged or lost, it can significantly affect your speech.


Deriving their name from their distinctive shape, people normally have four canine teeth with two on the upper jaw and two on the lower jaw immediately adjacent to the lateral incisors. These teeth are very effective at tearing food, particularly tougher types of food, including meat.

These teeth are far from pointless even if you’ve sworn off eating meat since they also form the shape of the corners of your mouth.


Just behind and adjacent to your canines are the premolars. People normally have eight premolars, with four on the upper jaw and two on the lower jaw. While the canines have a single sharp point, the premolars immediately adjacent to them have two distinct peaks, making them effective forcrushing food. The next premolars typically have three or four cusps.


The rest of your teeth, which are found immediately behind the premolars, are your molars. They do the heavy lifting when it comes to chewing your food since they are shaped ideally for grinding and breaking down foods of different textures and consistencies.

Typically, people grow twelve molars in total, although the most posterior molars (also known as wisdom teeth) are often removed. Some people never develop wisdom teeth or don’t need to get them removed at all.

Straightening All Kinds of Teeth

When it comes to straightening your smile with braces or Invisalign, moving every tooth is important to how your smile will appear and how healthy it will be. While people’s teeth are shaped in a way that allows them to bite down effectively and easily chew food, many people have issues with crowding or have jaw shapes that prevent a healthy bite.

Orthodontic treatment corrects both of these problems, ideally spacing every tooth and correcting any jaw shape problems to optimize both the appearance and functionality of your teeth. Plus, the reduced crowding will make thorough cleaning easier, reducing instances of tooth decay.

When you have your free consultation here at Milnor Orthodontics, we’ll go over just how we plan to optimize the health and appearance of your smile, tooth by tooth. Contact us today!

At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 484-3214 or visit milnororthodontics.com to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.