eye teeth

What Are Eye Teeth? Meaning & Name Origin

Eye teeth can be confusing when you hear about them for the first time. Which teeth are they, and why are they called that? There’s a good reason! Read on to learn about that as well as their other names, function, and more.

Which Teeth Are Eye Teeth?

Eye teeth are the upper canine teeth, located between your incisors and premolars. Your incisors are the front teeth, and your premolars are located behind your canines. Everyone has two eye teeth on the top, and two additional canines on the lower jaw.

If you look in a mirror and open your mouth wide, you’ll see these teeth are more pointy than your other teeth. They’re also among the last of your baby teeth to fall out and be replaced by permanent adult teeth.

Why Are They Called Eye Teeth, Canine Teeth, or Cuspids?

Now that you know which teeth are eye teeth and that they’re also called canines, you might be wondering where these names come from. Well, eye teeth got their name because they’re located straight down under your eyes. You could make straight, parallel lines from the inner edge of each eye right to the center of each eye tooth.

Now, the term “canine” is all about their resemblance to a dog’s fangs. When most people think of canines, they think of dogs. Ancient Romans also thought these teeth looked like canine teeth, so they started calling them caninus ‘of a dog.’

There’s a third term for eye teeth, and that’s cuspids. Cuspid comes from the Latin word cuspis ‘point,’ which makes sense given their sharp, pointed shape.

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What Are Canines, Incisors, Premolars and Molars For?

Eye teeth are mostly used for puncturing and tearing food. That’s why they’re so pointy! But they also play an important role in holding your cheeks in place.

Incisors are the teeth at the front of your mouth and they’re mostly used for biting off small pieces of food. Premolars are located behind your eye teeth, and they’re used for crushing and grinding food. Molars are located at the back of your mouth and they’re used for grinding food. As you can see, all your teeth play an important role in helping you eat!

There are also wisdom teeth, which are the third pair of molars on each jaw. Everyone has them, but they don’t always erupt. When they do, they’re often removed because there’s not enough room for them in the mouth.

Impacted Upper Canine Teeth – Dental Procedures

Sometimes, eye teeth can become impacted, which means they get stuck and don’t come in. This usually happens when there isn’t enough room in the mouth for them to come in. When this happens, a child may need to have their incisors moved to make more room for the eye teeth. The dentist or another oral health professional may also recommend removing the impacted eye tooth to prevent gum inflammation.

While eye teeth may seem like they’re just there to cause trouble, they actually play an important role in your mouth! Now that you know more about them, hopefully, their name will make a little more sense. It comes from the fact that they’re located straight under your eyes.

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Do you have any other questions about eye teeth? Leave them in the comments below!

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