International Tiger Day aims to raise awareness of the decline in tiger numbers around the world. As tigers are an endangered species, this special day celebrates the important work done to conserve tigers and their habitats. An additional but important factor in helping tigers to survive is, of course, their magnificent tiger teeth!
- WWF work on tiger conservation
- How much do you know about giraffes’ teeth?
- Did you know that zoo animals sometimes need root canal therapy?
What can we learn from tigers and their teeth?
Tigers are magnificent hunters, and their teeth are designed to catch, kill and consume their food.
During two minutes of tooth-brushing time this evening, here are ten tiger tooth facts to chat about:
- Cubs are born without teeth. After a couple of months sharp milk teeth erupt. These are gradually replaced by strong secondary teeth that push out the milk teeth, so they’re never left with a gap in the way children are.
- Grown tigers have 30 teeth in total, there are 16 teeth in the top jaw and only 14 in the lower jaw.
- Tigers need very strong jaws to grasp moving prey. Therefore, their lower jaw (mandible) is only able to move up and down. There’s no jaw movement from side to side like we people have.
- At the front, tigers have six small, sharp incisors in both the top and the bottom jaw. These are useful for fine work, such as scraping down bones.
- Tigers have longer canine teeth than other big cats. The crown of an upper canine in a fully grown tiger can be nearly 8cm long!
- Between the long, sharp canines and the back teeth, there’s a space called a diastema. This helps tigers to bite into their prey more efficiently.
- Like other carnivores, tigers have carnassial teeth. The top and bottom carnassials work together to shear chunks of meet so they can swallow it.
- Tigers don’t bother chewing their food.
- As tigers get older, their teeth become more yellow.
- Even though their teeth keep growing, older tigers can end up with missing teeth or very worn teeth. It can be hard for older tigers to catch and eat the food they need so they sometimes move closer to human habitations to find domestic animals and easy prey. A tiger can starve because of bad teeth.
We’re lucky to have toothbrushes and pastes! If we brush our teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time, we can keep our teeth healthy, so we can bite and chew our food comfortably!
- Answers to 10 FAQs to help care for children’s teeth
- What parents need to know about fluoride treatment for young teeth
Caring for children’s teeth
All SpaDental practices are dedicated to preventive care.
To support government initiatives to improve children’s dental health, four SpaDental practices are currently registering children as NHS patients without having to join a waiting list first:
A parent or guardian simply needs to call the practice to make an appointment.
Our private practices offer advantageous rates for children who attend the dentist with their parents.