People and animal teeth have the same basic make up, although the shape and positioning may vary by species. All vertebrates have teeth – that means any animal including humans that have backbones. Teeth for any animal consist of a mix of calcium, mineral salts and phosphorus.
Looking for ways to motivate your child to brush his or her teeth? Why not compare their teeth to those of their favorite animals? After all, everyone loves fun facts. Like people, some animals have several different kinds of teeth, while others have only one kind. Others don’t have any teeth at all! Animals’ teeth also give us clues about what they eat. Here are some fun facts comparing human teeth and animal teeth we thought you might enjoy.
- When you see a hippopotamus opening its mouth, it seems as though they have only four teeth! But they actually have 40 pearly whites.
- Dogs have more teeth than humans and rarely get cavities because their saliva has an extremely high pH, which prevents demineralization. Dogs have 42 teeth
* Cats have 30 teeth * Pigs have 44 teeth
- An elephant’s molars can weigh up to 10 lbs. They fall out every 10 years and new ones grow in to replace them. Elephants can have up to six new sets of teeth during a lifetime. The elephant’s molar is about 7″ square!!!
- The teeth of the pocket gopher grow up to 15 inches a year!
- The blue whale is the largest mammal on earth, but it dines exclusively on tiny shrimp because it has no teeth
- The Giant Armadillo, common in the southwest, has the most teeth of all the animals. There can be as many as 100 teeth at one time.
- Snails can have more than 25,000 teeth, which are located on the tongue. * The snail’s mouth is no larger than the head of a pin.
- Dolphins only get one set of teeth to last a lifetime and typically have around 250 teeth. This number can change for each type of dolphin, but the average has been determined to be around 250. As dolphins grow older, they will grow new layers over their teeth to keep them strong.
- And here’s one from prehistoric times! The Tyrannosaurus Rex, or T-Rex, had more than 60 thick, conical, bone-crunching teeth that were up to 9 inches long. Its jaws were up to 4 feet long.
- The tiger’s jaw has got to be extremely strong, flexible and powerful.It holds 30 teeth in a normal, healthy animal. These teeth are custom-built for gripping and tearing flesh.
- The lion also has 30 teeth. 4 canines,also known as “fangs” (2 upper canines and 2 lower canines), 12 incisors (6 upper and 6 lower incisors), 10 premolars (5 upper and 5 lower premolars), and 4 molars (2 upper and 2 lower molars). Premolars and molars are called carnassial teeth in all carnivores. The full set of adult lion teeth are gained between the age of 13 and 15 months. The 4 canines are probably the lion’s most important offensive weapon, as they are mainly used to grab and kill prey.
- The shark
That kind of number is going to change from shark to shark. The point is that sharks keep growing teeth throughout their lives – no matter how many they lose, they will never run out. Typically a shark has two to three working rows of teeth with 20 to 30 teeth in each row, although a whale shark has about 300 teeth in each row. So, amazingly, a shark can go through about 30,000 to 50,000 teeth over the span of its life.
Those 32 teeth in your mouth have some interesting characteristics. For example, eight of them are incisors, or teeth that cut or tear. Two are molars that don’t come in until you are older. It is not always easy to get kids interested in proper dental hygiene. Try laying a few of those fun facts on them as they brush to make it fun.
Have a great week everybody ! I hope that this was fun and enriching 🙂