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.
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 facts on them as they brush to make it fun.
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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- It is not true that George Washington used only wooden teeth. He did wear dentures though, because the president suffered from severe tooth disease. To replace what was missing, the dentist one made dentures out of cow, hippopotamus and walrus teeth.
- The Hindus of India were the first recorded group to brush their teeth. They used a twig frayed to create bristles. The first bristled toothbrush came from China in 1498. The original bristles were from hogs, horses and badgers. A commercial toothbrush appeared in 1938, however, in the 1700s, one inventor made a similar tool out of cattle bone and swine bristles. Toothpaste at one time contained only wine and pumice.