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Humans, and other mammals, have four types of teeth in their mouth. They are the canines, incisors, premolars and molars. Each of these teeth are made up of a crown and a root. The root is the part that secures the tooth into the jaw, while the crown is the visible part that sits above the gum.

Humans are omnivores, and this means that they need sharp teeth to pierce and tear meat, as well as flat teeth to crush and grind plant matter. The flat teeth, the molars, are found at the back of the mouth, premolars are slightly sharper and sit slightly further forwards, while the canines and incisors are sharper teeth near the front of the mouth. Let’s take a look at each kind of tooth individually.

1. The Incisors: These are the cutting teeth, and they are found at the front of the mouth. There are eight incisors in total, four in the upper jaw and four in the lower jaw. They are flat, shovel-shaped teeth that are designed to cut foot into small pieces so that it can be moved to the back of the jaw and chewed properly.

2. The canines, or cuspids: These teeth are located next to the incisors. They are sharp, pointed teeth that are used for biting and tearing tough meats. They have long roots and long crowns, and are both the tallest and most stable of the teeth in the human jaw.

3. The premolars: These flat, bicuspid molars are used for chewing and grinding. They have two cusps on their upper edges and are good for biting and crushing, and start breaking down food before final chewing by the molars.

4. The molars: Including the wisdom teeth, adult humans have twelve molars - three on each side of the mouth on the upper and lower jaw. The molars are flat-crowned teeth that have strong roots and are powerful enough to grind most foods down before swallowing.

Humans need all four kinds of teeth to successfully break down their food. Good dental hygiene is important to keep your teeth healthy. Some dentists advise removing the wisdom teeth because the other two molars are sufficient to chew your food properly, and the wisdom teeth often impact the gums causing inflammation and infection.