It’s All In The Numbers
If you were wondering how many teeth you have, you’ve come to the right place. Not only will you find the answer to that particular question, but you’ll also discover some wacky trivia about human teeth.
Babies are typically born with no teeth, although it’s been known to happen that babies are born with 1 or 2 teeth already sprouted in their mouths. These cases are colloquially known as prenatal teeth. Only one in 2,000 babies is born with these, and in most cases they’re the bottom two incisors. These prenatal teeth are actually pre-baby teeth, meaning they fall out when the baby’s actual baby teeth start erupting. Check this: Napoleon and Caesar were both born with prenatal teeth!
By the age of 3, children typically end up with 20 baby teeth in their mouths. Kids usually start to lose these teeth and sprout their permanent teeth around the age of 6.
The 20 baby teeth include:
- 8 primary incisors
- 4 canines
- 4 first molars
- 4 second molars
The baby teeth sprouting cycle
We’ve listed out the average sequence of baby teeth being sprouted, but of course there are interesting exceptions here, too. If your child grows some teeth before or after the mentioned intervals, this is nothing to worry about.
- 6th month – first incisors
- 8th month – second incisor
- Between 10th and 14th months – first molars
- Between 14th and 20th months – canines
- Between 24th and 30th months – second molars
Permanent teeth—in numbers
The standard set of adult teeth—sprouted primarily in grade school, but later adding wisdom teeth in adolescence—includes:
- 8 incisors
- 4 canines
- 8 premolars
- 8 molars
- 4 third molars (wisdom teeth)
Almost 35% of today’s population never grows wisdom teeth. Theoretically, we’re starting to see this more often because of the shrinking of the human jaw and the growing frequency of wisdom teeth coming into a crowded mouth.
- Once wisdom teeth are extracted (if they ever grow in), 28 is the average number of adult teeth.
- 45 is the average life expectancy of a tooth (yes, they don’t last forever, that’s what your dentist has been trying to tell you all along).
- 20 is considered the base-line number of teeth needed in order to chew a full diversity of foods.
Dental terms—in numbers
- The most likely tooth to grow in a “little on the small side” is an incisor. Having an undersized tooth is called microdontia.
- Having zero teeth in the jaw (naturally or unnaturally) is called anodontia.
- If you have more than 32 teeth in your mouth, you are dealing with a condition called hyperdontia.
- When 6 or more teeth are missing from your mouth, it’s called oligodontia.
- A set of adjacent teeth can actually fuse together during growth. This is called dental fusion.
- A single tooth splitting into 2 is a phenomenon known as dental gemination.
Keep on watching this month for more #ToothFacts here, and on Facebook!