When you hear the word canine you will most likely picture a dog. This may even catch some patients off guard when they are lying in the dentist’s chair listening to the spoken report of their evaluation of a patient’s teeth when they all of the sudden hear the word ‘canine’. While these formation of teeth are most popularly recognized in the mouths of carnivorous mammals such as dogs, their residual traits actually remain active in human mouths.

When a dentist refers to your upper and lower ‘canines’, they are speaking of the cuspids that reside on the outsides of your front teeth. Although sometimes found to be very flattened and less prudent than suggested, they are usually recognizable by their sharp and extended point qualities. This is because these teeth stem from many many generations of evolution in which human dietary nature has been able to shift to less dependence on cutting through meat and flesh, as you would imagine a cave man and their dog doing.

There are a total of four ‘canine’ cuspids in the human mouth. There are two located on the bottom row of teeth and are called the Mandibular Arch Canines. The two located on top are referred to as Maxillary Arch Canines. Canine teeth are recognized by dentist as the prominent teeth next to the incisors. It is these cuspids that do the ‘cutting’ when chewing. Their roots are very deep, much deeper than most other teeth in the mouth, and sink deep into the gums and even touch the jaw bone. They are also very well seen as extending higher than other teeth so as to appear larger and sharper.

Making their presence known late in the developmental stages of children’s first teeth, most canine’s will not rear their shape and form until around ages 10 or 11. However it is very important to keep your children’s teeth and gums clean and prepared for their arrival, seeing as any irritation in the gums can make for a painful entry of these sharp teeth. Even as adults, your canine teeth are very important because they do such a specific job when eating and gaining nutrients while taking great risks by being so prominent. Canine teeth are the most common of the adult tooth to chip and break off in the event of facial trauma.

Often referred to as ‘eye teeth’, these upper canines are two of the most important teeth your mouth develops. They get this name because of their clever location when looking at a skeletal skull structure head on; they appear directly below the eye sockets. These narrow and tapered ‘fangs’ serve great purpose and must be properly maintained and cleaned. The next time you are brushing make sure you are cleaning the front, back, and even the tip of these cuspids to ensure they last long and remain strong. Ask your oral hygienist about cleaning tips the next time you are in for your appointment here are the Sugar Land Dental Spa.