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Different Types of Teeth, Their Functions, and Why Regular Cleanings are Important

Your mouth is a complex puzzle, and its pieces are designed to work and fit together. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your adult or permanent teeth strong, clean, and healthy so they can perform their intended functions. To reinforce the importance of good oral hygiene, the care team at Wilmot Family Dentistry thought it might be helpful to review the types of teeth we have, along with their roles.

What Are the Types of Teeth?

Incisors

The incisors are the first teeth to be seen when smiling with an open mouth. They’re not just there to make your smile look more appealing—the incisors are the teeth used to bite and tear food into chunks, and they allow you to speak clearly when they’re properly aligned.

The best way to care for your incisors is to:

  • Floss and brush regularly
  • Wear a mouthguard if you play contact sports
  • Visit us twice a year for a professional cleaning

With proper family dental care from one of our experienced, compassionate dentists, you’ll keep your incisors in good shape for years to come.

Canines

Some people call them fangs, but they’re formally known as the canine teeth. These are the second type of teeth to develop during childhood, and because they’re the sharpest teeth in your mouth, they help tear food apart.

To care for your canines, take the following steps:

  • Floss regularly to keep foods from being stuck between the teeth
  • Don’t open packages with your canine teeth, as it can cause serious damage

Most importantly, you should get a dental check-up every six months. Call or click to schedule an appointment today.

Molars

Thirdly, we’ll discuss the molars. They serve a crucial purpose: they help you grind, break down, and chew food.

If you’ve ever known someone with painful or missing molars, it’s easy to see how the condition can affect a person’s quality of life.

To maintain your molars:

  • Floss in between these teeth, even though they’re further back. It can be hard to reach them, but there are a few tools to make the process easier.
  • Remove as much bacteria and food residue as possible with regular brushing.

And, don’t forget to schedule your biannual checkup!

Third Molars

Often referred to as the wisdom teeth, the third molars are the last teeth to emerge; they typically don’t appear until early adulthood. Third molars are designed to break down food and aid in digestion.

Keep in mind that:

  • Some patients may have enough room for the third molars to come in naturally, but dentists often recommend having them removed if they cause oral pain during their emergence
  • Floss and brush thoroughly to prevent bacterial infections

As your third molars are coming in, it’s important to visit and communicate with your dentist regularly.

We’ll ensure that your wisdom teeth are coming in safely, and if not, we’ll extract them as painlessly as possible.

Supernumerary Teeth

The average adult has 32 teeth, but in some cases, a person may have more. Known as supernumerary teeth, they typically appear in the form of an extra canine, molar, or incisor.

It’s quite common for these teeth to be removed due to the oral overcrowding they can cause.

Natal Teeth

While many assume that natal teeth are just baby teeth by another name, that’s not the case. Baby teeth don’t emerge until children are most of the way through infancy and into toddlerhood.

However, newborns are sometimes delivered with teeth in their mouths, which are known as natal teeth. The condition is very rare, and these teeth have few to no roots. That’s why most dentists recommend removing them as soon as they’re found.

What Happens When I Don’t Get My Teeth Cleaned?

Regular professional cleanings help us detect small issues before they become big problems, and they can even prevent certain conditions.

However, if you don’t get frequent cleanings, you may suffer from:

  • Cavities:

    Tooth decay and cavities can appear underneath built-up plaque and tartar that’s difficult to remove. Decay may also occur between the teeth.

  • Gingivitis:

    Also known as gum disease, gingivitis occurs when tartar and plaque irritate the sensitive tissues around the gum line. As the condition worsens, pockets form around and between the teeth, allowing plaque, food residue, and bacteria to get in and cause additional inflammation. Regular cleanings will help patients avoid the pain of gum disease.

  • Bad breath:

    Brown tartar, stains, and harmful plaque are made of bacteria, and it’s hard to remove it. The built-up residue can cause bad breath that won’t go away on its own. If you’ve used gum, mints, and mouthwash but still have bad breath, a professional cleaning may help.

  • Tooth loss:

    When patients neglect their oral health, they’ll eventually face tooth loss. Hardened tartar and plaque create pockets, which can eventually lead to the loss of affected teeth.

  • Increased oral cancer risk:

    During a cleaning, your dentist will check for oral abnormalities, which can indicate the earliest stages of cancer.

  • Prenatal complications:

    Because mothers-to-be are already dealing with hormonal fluctuations, they’re more susceptible to gum disease and other conditions. Not only can oral infections spread through the bloodstream and affect an unborn child, but they can also lead to low birth weight and prematurity. Routine cleanings, however, may work to prevent many of these complications.

Poor dental hygiene is linked to various conditions, such as stroke, hypertension, and heart attack.

Anything in the mouth is quickly absorbed into the blood, and if your oral hygiene is lacking, your health will suffer.

Trust Wilmot Family Dental for All Your Oral Care Needs

Humans have several kinds of teeth, and it’s important to care for them all. Keep your pearly whites healthy by eating a balanced diet, avoiding tobacco use, and scheduling regular dental check-ups. With a healthy set of teeth, you’ll be able to eat better, speak confidently, and smile wider.

For all your dental care concerns and questions, Wilmot Family Dental has the professionalism and experience to give you the answers you need.

We’re ready to provide safe, effective service in a relaxing, welcoming environment. Schedule an appointment online or by phone today!

Kim H.
Kim H.
Not a fan of going to the dentist. Ever. Wilmot Family Dentistry was a great experience. Alex soothed my nerves and made me laugh. Tito is a great hygienist. Dr. Lyman is amazing. He is a no pressure, only what you need type of dentist. Five stars aren’t enough to describe my experience!!
Raymond M.
Raymond M.
Had my 6 month cleaning with Michelle. She is the best! When I need full dental care, and I have had my share, Dr. Lyman takes his time and makes the entire procedure a pleasure.
Krysten K.
Krysten K.
Amazing place and amazing staff made me feel super comfortable would definitely recommend to everybody!
Teresa L H.
Teresa L H.
I 've been in this office for years, and always have a great experience. They treat me with respect and courtesy, The Dr is very good and kind.
Mina J.
Mina J.
Everyone at Wilmot family dentistry was very professional and friendly.ThanksDr. Lyman is great with his patients and takes time to explain things.
JoAnn L.
JoAnn L.
Hygienist did a great job cleaning my teeth and Dr. answered all my questions. Good experience.
sara M.
sara M.
I have been going to this office for years. Dr. Lyman is very kind and knowledgeable. I have a lot of anxiety going to the dentist and I am always walked through the process and they answer all the questions I have. I have some gum issues and he has really helped in the treatment plan.My son had an emergency dental procedure that needed to be done and they got him in the same day. Great office and staff highly recommend
Jalen N.
Jalen N.
Went to the dentist for the first time in a while and they made me feel super comfortable with zero judgment! They were also super gentle and have a super friendly environment! I’m excited to start my journey at this dentist!
Sherry H.
Sherry H.
After searching for a dentist office that fits my needs for almost a year, I am so thankful that I found Wilmot Family Dentistry! Dr. Lyman and staff are absolutely wonderful! If you are looking for a dentist who actually cares about the patient and not just the all mighty dollar, please go here! I would highly recommend them.
Karoline C
Karoline C
Timely appointment, nice staff, knowledgeable, kind and helpful hygienist. And Dr Lyman was his usual excellent self.
Logan R.
Logan R.
Great dentist. Worked to make my insurance covered what I needed done. Wonderful place.
becky T.
becky T.
The hygienist from Hawaii does such a great job cleaning teeth pain free. I went to Mexico and 2 crowns placed but she noted they left cement between my teeth that will cause breakdown/infection. She worked so hard to remove it but couldn’t get it all the dentist came in assessed the problem, says he sees this all the time but he can fix it, which is so great because I don’t want to undergo a root canal and another crown. He has placed prior crowns on my teeth and I have never had any issues. He did a great job 👏🏻 I highly recommend this office. I have went there for years. You won’t be disappointed. They will get you in quickly if your having a issue.Thank you Wilmot dental !!!
Laura S.
Laura S.
Everyone very nice
Jake E.
Jake E.
Best Dentist I have ever been to. Highly recommend them.
Maya B.
Maya B.
Always a friendly and understanding staff. Quick in and out with follow-up appointments made on the spot. Highly recommended
Paige H.
Paige H.
Always thorough, keeps me updated through every procedure, and a kind relaxed energy
Michael B.
Michael B.
They were great! I had some tooth pain and they got me in next day and addressed my issue.
Tina S.
Tina S.
I had an emergency dental problem and they got me in right away. Everyone was very nice and professional. They were able to fix my tooth and get rid of my pain.
Robert V.
Robert V.
Dr Lyman was very friendly and professional. Dr lyman explained the procedures so well made me feel relieved. Wonderful, atmosphere the Staff is so friendly and so welcoming. Thank you again for a amazing dental experience. Recommend this office for your dental needs.
M.J. M.
M.J. M.
Great place. Great people. Great service.
Louis S.
Louis S.
Everybody was so kind and extremely helpful in my visit. They explained everything to me unlike other dentist offices and are currently helping me get back into a schedule and routine for my oral health. 10/10 recommend!
sara L.
sara L.
I needed an emergency tooth pull and was in a lot of pain. Very glad to have found Wilmot Family Dentistry. They booked me a quick appointment and were very nice and professional. Liz, the dental assistant is fabulous and personable. Dr. is great. It finished quick and no pain.
Christine W
Christine W
Dr. Lyman and his staff are incredibly kind, patient and worked with us to get my son in on a difficult schedule. Very happy with this office and highly recommend!
Carmen R.
Carmen R.
I have been going to Wilmot Family Dental for a few years now. I have never had a bad experience. Dr. Lyman and the staff having been amazing each time. They are very friendly and nice.Will definitely keep going back and I strongly recommend them.
Amber P.
Amber P.
Exceptional experience for my family. My 7 year old needed a deeper cleaning and they took excellent care of her, she's actually looking forward to going back!Thanks for taking care of our smiles!
George E.
George E.
Everything about the dentistry was excellent! I was most impressed with the hygienist, Melissa. She is the finest dental hygienist I have ever had.
Iliganoa Selena I.
Iliganoa Selena I.
Dr. Lyman and his team are the best! The pano machine was down last week but they made sure to call me right away when it was fixed and scheduled me in the next week. Front desk is approachable, friendly and super nice. The wait times aren’t really long and that’s perfect! Thought I was only getting my X-rays today but they pulled through with pulling my wisdom teeth and reassured me everything was going to be ok. Recommend this dental for a family like feel. Definitely coming back again!
Monica T.
Monica T.
Everyone is so nice and friendly, highly recommended
Chris H.
Chris H.
I had a broken tooth. Hadn't been to see them for about 2 years. But as soon as I contacted their office. They got me in quickly and took great care of me. I appreciate their customer service and they're caring attitude. It's hard to find these days. I highly recommend them.
Lisa ann S.
Lisa ann S.
1st time. Broken tooth, needed extraction. I despise going to the dentist. Dr Lyman was very thorough, made sure I was pain free prior to tooth removal. Didn't feel a thing. Best experience in over 20yrs. I will be returning and recommending to others. Thanks Doc!!
Janet B.
Janet B.
Friendly staff and dentist. Kelsey was absolutely amazing! I
Christy
Christy
Very nice staff
Anna R.
Anna R.
It was refreshing to walk into a Dentist office where the front desk was nice and smiled! The hygienists were wonderful. I could hear my 15 year old daughter laughing in the other room with Inez. Staff and Dentist are super personable. We will see you all in August. Thank you!!!!
Mystri B.
Mystri B.
Wonderful staff! Thank you for all that you guys do!!
Beatriz R.
Beatriz R.
Great customer service.
M P
M P
Kelsie did a great job on my cleaning today. Both her and Dr. Lyman addressed my concerns and answered my questions thoroughly. I've continued to be pleased with this practice.Precious Review 2 years ago: Today, I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle, the new hygienist. What a great addition to this practice. Michelle was gentle and had a lovely chair side manner. She did great, Thank- you Michelle!My previous reviewI was very pleased with my recent experience at Wilmot Family Dentistry. Both Becca and Dr. Lyman were caring and addressed my concerns well. Treatment was pain free. Becca, Alanna and Dr. Lyman were gentle and kind. I recommend this practice.
STAY_ D.
STAY_ D.
They really took care of my son in short notice and got his tooth removed best family dentistry to go to. I recommend this dentistry for any family and military family they super well and great with kids.
O B
O B
Kelsey was amazing and friendly recommend this place
Robin R.
Robin R.
Wonderfully run office with helpful, pleasant efficient staff! I found familiar faces in the waiting room from where I live in a wonderful 55+ area. I will happily refer others.
Jennifer W.
Jennifer W.
This was my first visit. Everyone was very kind, knowledgeable, and informative. The cost was really reasonable. I would highly recommend.
Arthur K.
Arthur K.
Doctor Lyman and his staff are incredible. Update: January 2024. Had my 6-month check up and as usual I had a professional lady who was truly a hygienic specialist par excellence. She did a thorough job of cleaning my teeth, and she was as nice as she could be. I can't imagine ever giving less than a five-star review for Wilmot Family Dentistry.
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