Getting Into Shape: The Reasons Behind the Different Shapes of Your Teeth

Posted .

Have you ever wondered why your canines are so pointy? Or why your incisors are so thin? And why are molars big and bulky? Behind every tooth shape is a purpose, and here they are.

Sharp and Thin
The incisors (the teeth at the front of you mouth) have a sharp, thin biting surface. The reason they have this surface is because it is ideal for cutting the food you eat into bite-size pieces. No wonder they are at the front of your mouth.
Sharp and Pointy
Your canines may have reminded you of a vampire at times. But the sharp, pointed shape (which is called a cusp) can not only grip pieces of food, but rip and tear it as well.
Cusps and Flatness
The premolars are also called bicuspids because they have two—and sometimes three—cusps. Though while premolars has these cusps to help tear food, they also have a larger, flatter biting surface than canines. This flat surface crushes food
Large and Flat
The molars do the heavy duty work of chewing. They are the largest teeth and their flatter surface crushes and grinds food.