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Did You Know? Fun Facts About Animal Teeth


We dug up some interesting information about different types of species and their teeth we thought everyone might enjoy reading on our blog at Wilson Orthodontics of Durham & Oxford, North Carolina (NC). Thanks for visiting our blog and enjoy the post. Feel free to share it with your friends in Durham and Oxford NC.

Elephants: Did you know their tusks are overgrown incisors used for scooping and digging up food? These giant mammals also grind down their molars. Their molars can weigh up to 10 lbs and measure one foot wide. If they lose their tusks, they can then grow replacements up to six times during their lives.

Horses: Their teeth have intertwined enamel and dentin rather than the enamel surrounding the dentin like humans which allows the permanent teeth to continue to grow as their teeth erupt. This is to compensate for the continued loss of tooth structure that occurs with grinding their food while they eat. Males usually have 4 canines, but females don’t. You can determine their sex by checking their teeth.

Beavers: They have oversized incisors. They never stop growing so they are constantly trying to wear them down. That is why they chew on wood. The front side of their teeth actually has the metal iron in it, which is why they are a rusty orange color and so strong throughout their lives to chew through wood and make dams.

Dogs: Man’s best friend has a very high pH in its mouth which prevents demineralization of enamel which is why they rarely get cavities on their 42 teeth.

Giraffes: Only have bottom teeth. This is why it looks like they have such a big upper lip.

Cats: Have 30 teeth as adults with similar to humans with four molars, 10 premolars, four cuspids and 12 incisor teeth.

Pigs: Baby pigs have 28 baby teeth like humans but have 44 teeth instead of 32 as adults.

Armadillo: Has 32 teeth with no molars, only incisors and canines

Moose: Like giraffes, moose only have lower incisors with no opposing uppers. They are separated from the back teeth by a huge diastema or space.

Whales: Each tooth is completely encased in cementum which is a calcium layer covering the tooth, except for the tips of teeth in older whales where the cementum has worn away to reveal the enamel below. Narwhals (small artic whales) have a huge single tusk, like a unicorn, that is the most neurologically complex tooth known and used in eating, navigating, and even mating. Some whales can have as many as 250 teeth and other whales have none.

Sharks and Lizards: Most reptiles and fish are considered “polyphydonts” and exfoliate old teeth to be replaced by new ones throughout their life.

Snails: Even though their mouths are no larger than the head of a pin, they can have over 25,000 teeth over a lifetime – which are located on the tongue and continually lost and replaced like a shark!

Rabbits: Almost all mammals have primary or baby teeth and permanent teeth, but bunnies typically lose their baby teeth in utero before they are born.


This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.

Wilson Orthodontics For Braces

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Durham & Oxford Orthodontist, Dr. Wilson of Wilson Orthodontics offers the most advanced braces for children, teens and adults, including Invisalign® clear aligners, Damon® braces, SureSmile® braces and traditional metal braces.

Contact us today for a complimentary orthodontic and braces exam at either of our orthodontic offices conveniently located in Durham and Oxford, North Carolina (NC).

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