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Kelowna Dentists Explore Fun Facts About Animal Teeth

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Did you know that dogs hardly ever get cavities, or that sharks can go through thousands of teeth in a lifetime? It’s true. Many animals have teeth, but, as the Kelowna family dentists at Okanagan Smiles will tell you, human teeth are pretty different from most mammals’ teeth.

First, let’s talk about why different kinds of animals have different kinds of teeth.

What kind of teeth do you think meat-eaters, also known as carnivores, have? That’s right, they have sharp teeth. Carnivores use their teeth to injure their prey, and then to chew through the animal’s meat.

What about plant-eaters or herbivores? Plant-eaters have flat teeth so they can mash their soft food.

How about humans, and other animals that eat both plants and meat? Omnivores like us have flat teeth at the back and sharp teeth in the front, perfect for chewing and mashing.

Snails mouths are tiny—smaller than the tip of your pencil—but they can have as many as 25,000 teeth. And guess where they are? On the tongue.

Crocodiles have their own floss: the crocodile bird. Crocodile birds swoop onto crocodile tongues and eat the insects living on the reptile’s teeth. That way, the birds get a meal and the crocodile gets its 60 teeth cleaned.

Dogs almost never get cavities because their saliva helps keep calcium in their teeth. That means their teeth can stay strong and healthy for a long time.

Sharks can go through more than 20,000 teeth in a lifetime. That’s because they lose teeth every week but they have rows and rows of teeth so they never run out. When one tooth falls out, a tooth from the next row pops right up in its place.

Poisonous snakes, including cobras and vipers, use their hollow fangs to push poison into their prey and predators.

Dolphins have nearly 200 teeth—more than any other animal has at one time. And, dolphins have rings on their teeth, kind of like trees. Scientists can use those rings to tell how old a dolphin is.

Whether you’re visiting us for cosmetic or general dentistry, we provide a comfortable experience with results that will last. Contact us to book an appointment today!

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