Teeth are pretty incredible, and in the animal kingdom, teeth can be pretty terrifying! Here’s our list of the scariest teeth found in the wild.
5 – Great White Sharks
The Great White Shark is the largest predatory fish on earth, and it wields a lot of impressive teeth. Great White Sharks have around 3,000 teeth in their mouth at one time in multiple rows on their jaws. If a tooth is lost, another one simply slides forward to replace it, and they grow a new one. These fascinating sharks are constantly growing teeth, and the Great White will go through around 30,000 teeth in its lifetime!
4 – Hippopotamus
Did you know that Hippopotamuses have the largest teeth of any land animal? Their front incisors can grow to be 1.2 feet in length, and their canines can get to be 1.5 feet!
3 – Saltwater Crocodiles
Which animal has the strongest bite force in the world? That title belongs to the Saltwater Crocodile, which has a bite force of 3,700 pounds per square inch! By comparison, humans can only generate a bite force of around 150 – 200 pounds per square inch.
2 – Babirusa
Have you ever seen a saber-toothed pig? Well, now you have. The Babirusa is a hog with a dental problem, and has two very large canine teeth that can grow up to 8 inches long and even grow through their skin! The Babirusa’s canine teeth never stop growing, and their top canines can grow and curl back onto themselves.
1 – Payara
The Payara fish is nicknamed the “Vampire Fish,” and earned the nickname with its incredible teeth. The Payara has two large fangs that grow from its lower jaw and go INTO the upper jaw and head of the fish. There are two negative spaces in the fish’s head where these 6-inch fangs rest when they aren’t being utilized by this carnivorous fish.
Keep Teeth Clean!
Did you know that animals have ways that they keep their teeth clean? Oral health routines shouldn’t be a wild concept to your family, though. Be sure that your family brushes their teeth twice per day for two minutes at a time and flosses once per day.
Did you know that you can crack or fracture your teeth if you use them improperly? In fact, cracked and fractured teeth are the third leading cause of tooth loss. If your child decides to use their teeth for anything other than eating, then they face an increased risk of damaging their teeth and facing costly dental repairs. You can help your child avert these risks by teaching them that teeth are not tools.
Don’t let Them Use Their Teeth to:
Cut Anything other than Food
It is very tempting to use teeth to open a bag, tear tape or cut a piece of string, but teeth aren’t scissors. When you try to cut something other than food with teeth, they are exposed to harder surfaces that aren’t found in food. Additionally, the pressure needed to cut some of these objects is far greater than the amount needed to chew. This places unnecessary stress on teeth, and can cause them to crack or fracture, which results in a painful dental emergency that needs to be treated ASAP by a dental professional.
It is really easy (and incredibly tempting) to use teeth as an extra set of hands to carry that last item up the stairs or from the car, but teeth aren’t hands and they aren’t meant to hold things. Holding items in teeth is particularly dangerous, because one can easily trip and fall and sustain serious oral and facial injuries. Tell your child that they need to be patient, and protect their teeth and face from unnecessary harm caused by using their mouth to carry things.
Nuts are delicious, but a lot come encased in a hard shell that could be cracked by teeth, but teeth are absolutely NOT meant to crack nuts. Trying to crack open a nut with teeth often leaves teeth fractured or cracked, rather than the nut. Tell your kids to stay away from nuts that have the shells on them, or teach them how to use a metal nutcracker.
There’s not many glass bottles that contain child-appropriate drinks as it is, but if your child likes mineral water or cola from a glass bottle, then teach them that a bottle MUST NEVER be opened with teeth. This is one of the worst, most traumatic things one can do to their own teeth and will likely cause a cracked tooth. Additionally, the hard metal surface can scrape enamel away from teeth, and leave them more susceptible to cavities. If your child must have a drink from a glass bottle, just go ahead and open it for them.
Teeth are Made for Chewing Food – and That’s it
The bottom line in all of this is that are not indestructible, and really only designed to process food. If you allow your child, or if you decide yourself to use your teeth as tools, then you are exposing teeth to unnecessary harm that could cause painful, and expensive consequences. Teach your child that the only things they should use their teeth for are chewing, and smiling, and stress to them that teeth are not Swiss Army knives.