Herbivores eat only vegetable matter and grain. Carnivores eat only meat. Human beings, however, are what is known as “omnivores”, meaning we eat both types of food. And our teeth are designed specifically to do that. Here’s what you’ll find in the adult human mouth:
The adult mouth contains 32 permanent teeth, consisting of the following teeth types:
- 4 third molars (also called wisdom teeth)
- 4 second molars (also called 12-year molars)
- 4 first molars (also called 6-year molars)
- 4 second bicuspids (also called second premolars)
- 4 first bicuspids (also called first premolars)
- 4 cuspids (also called canine or eye teeth)
- 4 lateral incisors
- 4 central incisors
What, then do each of these teeth do to help us comfortably eat both meat and vegetables? Well, each tooth has a specific function. Your teeth are used for:
- Biting and tearing. The central incisors and lateral incisors are primarily used for biting and cutting and canine teeth are primarily used for tearing food.
- Grinding and crushing. The premolars, molars, and wisdom teeth are primarily used for chewing and grinding food.
As you can see, the incisors and canine teeth aid in the eating of meat. Whereas the premolars and molars help us with the chewing and grinding of vegetable matter, grains, etc.
That’s the ingenious design of your mouth and its teeth. So take good care of them, brush and floss regularly and make sure to come and see us if you have any problems.