How many teeth do we actually have?

Through our life we have two sets of teeth. One consists of deciduous teeth, known as milk teeth or baby teeth, and one set of permanent teeth, after you lose your baby teeth. But how many teeth do kids have? How many teeth do adults have and how many of those do they lose throughout their lives? Here are the answers.

A tooth consists of a root and a crown. While the crown is the visible part of the tooth, the root is covered by gums and is attached to the jawbone. Our teeth are built in layers, first there is a pulp. Here there’s connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves. Around this, there are dentine, and then enamel on the outer layer.

How many teeth do kids have?

Kids get their teeth at various times. While some get their first tooth when they’re three months old, some can get their first when they turn one. There are also cases where babies have been born with a visible tooth. In addition, the mineralization of milk teeth actually begins between week 14 and week 18 of a mother’s the pregnancy.

In total a child has 20 milk teeth, which are eight incisors, four canine teeth, four premolar teeth and four molar teeth.

How many teeth do kids lose?

The replacement of milk teeth begins around age six, but it’s not uncommon to begin at the age of five for some. The replacement of the milk teeth lasts until the age of 14. The process of shedding milk teeth and their replacement by permanent teeth is called exfoliation.

All milk teeth loosen and fall out, and are replaced with the permanent set of teeth.

Permanent teeth

In most cases all permanent teeth will be grown out by the age of 14, but of course it can vary from individual to individual. Normally an adult will have 32 teeth. This includes the four wisdom teeth that usually come between the age of 17 and 22. However, not everyone gets wisdom teeth, so without them you will have 28.

The function of the teeth

  • Incisors: Incisors are your front teeth, there are four of them in the upper jaw and four in the lower jaw. These are adjusted to cut and tear, and are therefore used to tear of little bites.
  • Canines: The canines are located at the corners of the dental arches. They have a sharp, pointed biting surface. Their function is to grip and tear food. There are two canine teeth in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw.
  • The molars are the largest of the teeth and are primarily used to chew, crush and grind food. They have a large flat biting surface. Adults have 20 molars in total.