America’s ToothFairy – Fun Facts About Animal Teeth

Teeth are important for both humans and animals! We use our teeth to eat, talk and show our happiness. Animals can use their teeth not only to eat, but also to take care of themselves, carry their young, defend themselves, and build their homes! Here are some interesting facts about animals and very important teeth:

birds

Do birds have teeth? Well… not really. But this type of toucan is called a Arrested Arakari It certainly looks like he does!

Arakari’s collared and ferocious “teeth” appearance.

Toucans and other types of birds such as gray goose It has serrations (rough edges) on its beaks that help it catch its prey. These are not like the teeth that mammals have – they are more like “teeth” on a saw or comb.

This gray goose has a serrated bill and barbs on its tongue that look like teeth but really aren’t.

Some birds like king penguin, has spine-covered tongues and upper tines* that hold squiggly fish in place. Unlike our teeth, the spines are directed back and act like thorns to keep food going in the right direction – down their throat! Because most birds swallow their food whole.

* The upper palate (roof of your mouth) is soft and made of soft tissue. Did you know that the skin on the palate and tongue can be a hiding place for germs? It is important to brush your tongue and use a mouthwash or rinse with water after brushing to make sure your mouth is completely clean!

This king penguin prevents fish from slipping out of his mouth with spines on his tongue that definitely look like teeth!

Small birds can also have small spines in their mouths (like these babies basics left) and most of them have an “egg tooth” at the tip of their beaks to help them break through their shells when they are born!

Even young birds can appear to have teeth… but they really don’t.

Birds of prey, such as Common Kestrel’s hawk We pictured, they may have a sharp “silver tooth” to cut the vertebrae of prey. These are not really our teeth because they are not covered with enamel.

Do snails have teeth?

snail snail They may look soft and mushy but, believe it or not, they can contain up to 14,000 teeth! (This means that it takes 5½ hours to floss every day!

Having trouble viewing this video? Click here to watch it on YouTube.

The elephants

Elephant tusks are modified incisors* to replace milk teeth when the elephant is between 6 and 12 months old. After that, their tusks grow about 6 1/2 inches each year! African elephants It has fangs in both males and females, but in Asian elephantsOnly males have large fangs while females have very small fangs or no fangs at all. Canines are used for defense, digging for food and water, carrying, and lifting.

* Your incisors are the teeth at the front of your mouth, four at the top and four at the bottom, and are used for biting off crunchy apples and carrots! Learn more about the different types of teeth you have by clicking here.

Unlike humans, whose teeth are pushed through the gums, elephant teeth are developed from behind and pushed forward. An elephant has 6 sets of molars during its lifetime. As each tooth wears down through grinding, another tooth moves forward to replace it. One elephant molar can weigh up to 5 pounds! In captivity, mature elephants are trained to open wide so that their breeders can keep their teeth healthy because an elephant with unhealthy or missing teeth will starve to death.

dog

Puppies lose their babies or their milk teeth over a period of weeks – not years like children do. Puppies have about 28 teeth falling out by the time they are about 6 months old to make room for 42 adult teeth. That’s 10 more teeth than humans!

Dog teeth are similar to human teeth in that they are made up of layers: the pulp in the middle, surrounded by dentin and encased in hard enamel (the white part of your teeth that you can see.) But dog teeth and people’s teeth are not alike. Our molars are designed to grind against each other to break down our food. But the large upper premolars and lower premolars of a dog work together like scissors to cut food into strips.

An adult dog’s teeth work together to cut through the meat. Do you see the cavity forming on this dog’s teeth?

Dogs don’t usually get cavities because the bacteria that cause cavities in human mouths (who love to feast on sugar!) don’t usually live in dogs’ mouths. When dogs develop cavities, it is usually due to eating sweet foods such as bananas or sweet potatoes.

You need to take care of your dog’s teeth. They can develop gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss (just like people!) Look for plaque buildup on their teeth and clean them with a toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for dogs! Treating or chewing your dog’s teeth can also help keep your dog’s teeth healthy.

the cats

These soft bits have interesting teeth! By about 4 months old, the kittens have already replaced their milk teeth with 30 adult ones! Since cats are omnivores (carnivores), their teeth are only pointed and serrated to clean the bones from the meat. Front incisors are primarily used for brushing fur, not eating.

Cats get cavities, too — and they hurt as much as people’s cavities. They usually start below the gum line, so it’s important to have regular vet checkups. You may need to brush your cat’s teeth to keep it healthy!

Click here to read more about cat teeth.

tigers

Take a bite out of these fun facts about this giant kitty’s teeth! Tiger cubs are born without teeth, but their baby teeth appear after only a few days. They will be pushed out of their permanent teeth so that they never miss any of them.

Healthy adult tigers have 30 teeth and a large gap between their pointed front teeth and back molars. This helps the tiger really catch its prey!

A tiger’s jaw can only move up and down, not side to side, which helps it exert up to 1,000 pounds of pressure when it bites! Aren’t you glad you’re not a tiger’s prey?

For more facts about tiger teeth click here.

Rabbits and squirrels

These cute and mysterious cats are herbivores, so they do not have canine teeth. Instead, they have six incisors in the front that act as scissors for cutting grass, and 22 molars in the back for grinding food.

Unlike people, rabbits’ teeth are not protected by enamel and are easily eroded. As a result, their teeth are constantly growing. It can grow 3-5 inches each year! If a rabbit is not fed the right amount of fibrous foods such as grass and hay, their teeth can grow in for too long and cause oral health problems that make them difficult to eat.

This pet rabbit was not fed the right food. The vet will have to fix his teeth that have grown in too long.

Squirrels It has four front teeth and, like rabbits and other rodents, continues to grow throughout its life. This prevents their teeth from eroding as they gnaw nuts, pine cones and bark. Sometimes a wild squirrel’s front teeth will not line up as they should. They will continue to grow until the squirrel can no longer eat and the squirrel starves to death. 😢

When our teeth don’t line up the way they should, it can be difficult to care for, chew, or speak properly. Fortunately, unlike squirrels, people can go to an orthodontist to get braces!

Did you know that long-tailed macaques teach their young how to floss their teeth with hair?! it’s the truth!

Having trouble viewing this video? Click here to watch it on YouTube.

If baby monkeys are learning how to use string, you can too! Click here for flossing tips.

crocodile and crocodile

Adult crocodile He has between 74 and 84 teeth in his mouth. Alligators’ teeth aren’t very sharp, so you’ll have to bite down hard to compensate for that. If the crocodile loses a tooth, it will be replaced by a new one – producing up to 3,000 teeth in its lifetime!

crocodiles You have between 60-110 teeth – which are very sharp! Crocs use their sharp teeth to shred meat and swallow large pieces. A crocodile can replace each of its teeth up to 50 times and can pass 4,000 teeth in its lifetime. (That’s a lot of hits from The Tooth Fairy!)

Crocodiles cannot sweat. Instead, they open their mouths wide to let out heat, similar to the way a dog cools off. When the Nile crocodile does this, a small bird called a plover flies into the crocodile’s mouth to eat the pieces of meat around it and between its teeth. The plover gets a free meal and the crocodile brushes his teeth!

Since plovers do not brush human teeth, you will need to brush your teeth twice for two minutes each day. Make sure you visit the dental clinic twice a year as well. The dental hygienist will give your teeth a good cleaning and will make sure your gums are healthy too!

the Nile crocodile Measured to have the world’s strongest bite – it exerts pressure up to 5,000 psi. This is 10 times more pressure than the fearsome great white shark!

snakes

All snakes have teeth, but only venomous snakes have fangs to inject venom into their prey. These canines act like hollow needles under the skin used to give an injection in a doctor’s office.

Not all venomous snakes are deadly. this is parrot snake (below) It contains a venom that causes pain near the site of the sting and swelling that goes away after a few hours.

Learn more interesting facts about snake teeth by clicking here.

cows

Cows do not have upper front teeth. To chew, they press their lower teeth to their hard palate. They eat about 8 hours a day!

Did you know that the cheese we make from cow’s milk helps protect our teeth from harmful acids and causes more saliva cleaning to reduce cavities? it’s the truth! In fact, there are plenty of foods that will help keep your teeth healthy. Read about it by clicking here.

Sharks

Baby sharks are born with a full set of teeth, which means they should visit a shark dentist right away! Young humans should visit the dentist as soon as their first teeth appear or by their first birthday (whichever comes first!)

Shark Dentist is located at:

Having trouble viewing this video? Click here to view it.

Each type of shark has a different tooth shape depending on what it eats. Shark teeth do not have roots like ours, so they fall out easily while the shark is eating. On average, sharks lose about one tooth per week. However, since sharks grow their teeth like a conveyor belt in rows, each tooth can be replaced within a day! Most sharks have 5 to 15 rows of teeth, with the exception of the most dangerous sharks in the world – bull shark It can have up to 50 rows. Yikes!

Sharks never run out of their teeth. A shark may grow up to 20,000 fish over its lifetime!

Shark teeth are coated with fluoride, the same ingredient in toothpaste that helps keep teeth strong, making them naturally resistant to cavities. (Your teeth are not! So be sure to use a fluoride toothpaste twice each day.)

The upper jaw of the white shark is able to decipher the skull and move forward! Watch their bite in action here:

Having trouble viewing this video? Click here to view it.

Find out more fun facts about shark teeth by clicking here.

We hope you found these animal teeth facts as fascinating as we did! Remember – just like animals need teeth to survive in the wild, you need to take care of your teeth to be healthy and to be able to eat healthy foods. Remember to brush your teeth twice for two minutes each day. Floss your teeth every day and rinse with water or mouthwash to clean the soft parts of your mouth too!

To download a printable version of this article, visit our Resources page.

Subscribe to one of our fun and informative quarterly newsletters.

Leave a Comment