Your mouth is full of various types of teeth that have different functions and purposes but they all work together preparing food to be swallowed and digested. For this post we’ll focus on the front teeth in your mouth, incisors.
The term incisor is taken from a Latin word which means “to cut.” Essentially, that is what these teeth are designed to do, cut our food and once the food is cut it can then be pushed on to other teeth to be broken down further. Our canines continue the shredding and cutting process, while the molars grind food until it is fine enough to be swallowed.
Adults have 8 incisor teeth; two front teeth, on the top and bottom, and the two teeth on either side of these teeth, again on top and bottom. For children, these teeth are usually the first to erupt from the gums during their dental development. Consequently, they are also usually among the first to fall out, making room for the permanent tooth to take its place.
Permanent incisors are the focus of much attention. They are the first teeth that will be visible in a smile, and as a result are often subject to whitening treatments or veneers. They are also vulnerable to being knocked out, more so than any of the other teeth in our mouths. Often they aren’t as large as some of our other teeth, meaning that there is less to root them in our gums. Plus, there is less gum and cheek padding to soften a blow. A solid strike to the mouth can certainly knock these teeth out and this is why it’s important to wear mouth guards to protect teeth that don’t have enough natural protection.
So, hopefully now you have a slightly better understanding of your incisor teeth. Like any of your other teeth, make sure to keep these teeth clean and they’ll take care of you for a long time.