Arrangement of different Types of Teeth – Class 11 | Chapter – 16 | Biology Short Notes Series PDF

Types of Teeth: Teeth are one of the strongest parts of the human body. It is mainly composed of proteins (collagen) and minerals (calcium). Apart from the digestion, teeth also play an important role in our speech. An adult will have 32 teeth, including the Wisdom teeth. Molars are the first permanent teeth to develop in, and most of the adults will have their complete set of permanent teeth in place by the age of 21.

Types of Teeth

Overall adults have 32 teeth in total, called permanent or secondary teeth, and it includes:

  • Eight incisors  – Four incisors in the upper jaw and four incisors in the lower jaw.
  • Four canines –  Two canines in the upper jaw and two canines in the lower jaw.
  • Eight premolars–  Four premolars in the upper jaw and four premolars in the lower jaw.
  • Twelve molars- Six molars in the upper jaw and six in the lower jaw. It also includes four wisdom teeth.

Babies are born toothless as their primary source of food is mother’s milk. As the babies start to wean, milk teeth gradually start to appear. Milk teeth get replaced by permanent teeth by the time the individual turns six years old. Among the four types of teeth, the lower incisors are the first primary teeth to develop in, and most kids will have all their twenty primary teeth by age 3, which includes:

  • Eight incisors – Four incisors in the upper jaw and four incisors in the lower jaw.
  • Four canines – Two canines in the upper jaw and two canines in the lower jaw.
  • Eight molars – Four molars in the upper jaw and four molars in the lower jaw.

Types of Teeth in Humans

Teeth have different shapes as each tooth has a particular role to perform during mastication (chewing) and eventually digestion. They are also positioned differently, so as to better serve their purpose.

There are four different types of teeth in humans. Listed below are the form and functions of types of human teeth:


Incisors are present at the front of the mouth. These teeth have sharp edges and are adapted for cutting food into small, chewable pieces. Humans have eight incisors, four incisors in the upper jaw and four in the lower jaw.


Canines are also called cuspids. They are situated at the ‘corners’ of the dental arches. They are characteristically sharp, elongated and pointy surface. Their primary function is to grip and tear food (tough food such as meat). Humans have four canines, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw.


Premolars are also called bicuspids and are located behind the canines.  These teeth have a flat surface with ridges, which is adapted for crushing and grinding food into smaller portions. Humans have eight premolars, two on each side of the jaws.


Molars are the largest and strongest teeth. It has a large and flat biting surface, which is well-adapted for grinding food. Humans have 12 molars, six in each jaw. Four of those are wisdom teeth, which is also called the third molar, which come in between the ages of 17 to 25.

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By Team Learning Mantras