Getting To Know Our Teeth

Our teeth is important to us because it helps us to chew and break food down into small pieces - so that it can be easily digested (Check out how food is digested here!). Did you know that they help us pronounce words clearly too?

Learn about the names of our teeth and their functions in this extension activity for the Little Doctors Box. You can use the teeth model in the box to help you!

Here are some simple ways to introduce our teeth vocabulary - 

For the younger ones: Write down words that describe the different teeth in our mouth. You can use words like sharp, sharper, thin, thinner, big, bigger, biggest, small, smaller, smallest, ridge, flat etc. 

For the older ones: Learn the names of the teeth using the diagram below!

teeth model and names

Here are the functions of our teeth:

incisors: Our four front teeth on the top and bottom are sharp. They help to hold and cut food, just like how a pair of scissors cuts things. (Notice the similarity between the word 'scissors' and 'incisors'?) We can also use our incisors to help us sense the texture and kind of food we eat.

canines: The pointed teeth on the top and bottom have cusps for grabbing and tearing food apart.

premolars: Premolars are the larger, flatter teeth next to the canines. We use our premolars to tear and cut food. You will be able to feel ridges in your premolars as you run your tongue over them. These ridges help to grind up food we eat.  

molars: Our molars are big and flat. They have broad chewing surfaces to crush and grind down food before it's finally swallowed. 

We like using the teeth model because:

1) Your child will be able to visualise the structure of each tooth (shape and size) and it's function by observing this true to life teeth model.

2) By looking at the model as a whole, your child will be able to observe the position of each tooth, relative to the other teeth. 

Did you know? Humans get two sets of teeth. Our primary teeth (the first set that starts to grow when we are just 6 months old) contains 20 primary teeth. By the time we are 13, all the primary teeth would have fallen out. Our second set of teeth is called permanent teeth. Human adults have 32 permanent teeth. If you are wondering why your Little Doctors teeth model has 28, the wisdom teeth (all 4 of them), have been removed, much like how adults will get their wisdom teeth removed in real life! 

The teeth model is provided in the Little Doctors Box as part of 10 hands-on activities to help your child get to know more about the body systems and their functions. Subscribe today and get a new monthly theme delivered right to your doorstep each month.