Humans may be the only species to book dentist appointments, but we’re not alone when it comes to having teeth! Almost all creatures have some form of teeth to help them chew and digest their meals. Here are 10 other fun facts about teeth in the animal kingdom.
- Sharks are constantly growing new teeth, and one shark can go through 25,000 – 35,000 teeth in its lifetime.
- Although birds don’t have teeth, some species such as the Gray Goose, have serrations along their beaks, which help them grip prey.
- The layout, size and shape of an animal’s teeth depend on its diet. Herbivores usually have tall molar teeth with flat upper surfaces, while carnivores usually have long canine teeth and sharp molars to help them tear tougher meat.
- Reptiles that have teeth are referred to as polyphyodonts. Alligators would be an example of a polyphyodont.
- Just like a human, a horse gets two sets of teeth in its lifetime. By a horse’s 4th birthday, it should have its complete set of adult teeth—including third molars.
- Snails have 1,000s of microscopic teeth on their tongues, sometimes up to 12,000!
- You can discover a dolphin’s age by looking at a cross section of its tooth. Like rings in a tree, dolphins have annual layers in their teeth that scientists can count to estimate a dolphin’s age.
- Frogs are oddballs when it comes to teeth. Some species of frogs don’t have any teeth, while others have fan-like structures or tiny teeth on their upper jaws. Scientists are still researching why there is such a huge difference in frog species’ teeth.
- An elephant’s tusks are long, continuously growing teeth that protrude from their mouths. They are made up of a hard, dense and bony tissue.
- The world’s biggest animal, the blue whale, doesn’t have teeth! Instead of using teeth for consuming food, they use baleen plates hanging from the roofs of their mouths.
Don’t forget to take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly, and booking regular appointments for dental checkups! If it’s time for you to see a dentist, give us a call at 573-243-5200 or stop by our office at 3100 E. Jackson Blvd. in Jackson, MO to get your next visit scheduled.