Your teeth are among the most interesting parts of your body. Although small, they make some everyday functions possible, such as eating and pronouncing words correctly. Taking care of them is important, too; when your permanent teeth are lost, they do not grow back. Luckily, there are myriad options for correcting, restoring, and replacing lost or damaged teeth. Since our animal friends, however, do not have the luxury of advanced dentistry to care for their teeth, Brighton dentist Dr. Thomas Villani explores the diverse teeth of the animal kingdom.

Fun Animal Teeth Facts

  • Humans aren’t the only ones who lose teeth. Sharks, for instance, lose teeth every week. They, however, grow their own replacement teeth after each one is lost. In its lifetime, a shark can grow over 20,000 teeth.
  • A healthy human mouth contains 32 teeth. Sometimes, the last four (wisdom teeth) need to be extracted to treat or prevent dental issues such as crowding and impacted wisdom teeth. Crocodiles, however, have up to 60 teeth that fit comfortably in their mouths.
  • Crocodiles also have their own personal hygienists. The crocodile bird flies into a crocodile’s open mouth and cleans its teeth.
  • Giraffes, like humans, also have 32 teeth in their mouths.
  • Elephants can grow up to four different sets of teeth in their lifetime, and their tusks are the largest teeth in the world.
  • Even though elephants constantly grind their molars down and grow new ones, the molar typically measures about seven inches squared.
  • Dolphins have the most teeth in their mouth at one time than any other animal, numbering about 200. Interestingly, experts can decipher a dolphin’s age by the rings on its teeth.
  • Rodents, such as rats, mice, and hamsters, grow their teeth continuously. If you have one as a pet, give it wood to gnaw on and shorten its teeth.
  • Baleen whales have no teeth. Instead, they have plates made from the same substance as hair and fingernails. These plates hang from the upper jaw and trap small fish and other food.

To learn more about oral health, or to schedule an appointment, contact your Brighton family dentist, Dr. Villani, today at 617-562-5210. Brighton Family Dental Group proudly serves patients from Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Brighton, and the 02135 area.