What Is the Function of a Incisor Tooth?

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The incisors are the anterior, or frontmost, teeth that are primarily useful for slicing and cutting food. WebMD states that they also play an important part in forming speech. The normal human mouth has eight incisors, all of them in front, with four on top and four an the bottom.

Teeth are the hardest objects in the body. In mammals, the teeth generally have different shapes that are adapted to a specific function. Incisors are good at separating food from its base, as with biting a piece off of an apple. Premolars and molars are large and flat, which makes them good for grinding food, and canines are the pointed teeth positioned between the incisors and premolars, according to WebMD.

As the incisors are the teeth most visible to others during talking, smiling and eating, the condition these teeth are in plays a special role in social interactions. Incisors usually erupt in two stages, according to About.com, with the central incisors emerging in children between the ages of 6 and 7 and the lateral incisors coming in between the ages of 7 and 8. These are the first adult teeth a child develops, and they do not grow back if they are lost or damaged.