Why do my teeth have numbers?

For communication purposes! Although, general U.S dentists use a numbering system that’s different than what orthodontists and European dental professionals use. This numbering system allows dentists and other dental professionals to communicate with each other and keep track of what teeth are being worked on or not worked on. The numbering starts on your upper jaw on your very back right tooth and goes around to the left side. Then it jumps to your bottom jaw on the left side and works back around to the right side.

Your teeth also have names! Your front 4 (upper and lower) teeth are called “incisors.” The next tooth back is your “canine.” The next two after that are called “premolars” and the last 3 teeth are your “molars.”

Check out the graphic to see the numbers and names for all of your teeth! (You might notice that this picture has all 32 teeth, but many people have their wisdom teeth taken out when they are teenagers or young adults! Those “wisdom” teeth are numbers 1, 16, 17 and 32.)