Do You Know These Shark Teeth Facts?

Team Blog Post

Close Up Of Shark Wearing Braces

One of our favorite weeks of the year is here: SHARK WEEK.

The Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week is well underway. The purpose? To demystify some of the ocean’s greatest creatures, while educating upwards of 35 million viewers. As you sink your teeth into Shark Week 2019, we’ve got some shark teeth facts to share:

Fact 1: Sharks have numerous rows of teeth.

Did you know shark teeth are arranged in rows? While the number of rows varies from species to species, sharks often have anywhere from 5 to 15 rows of teeth per jaw, with the bull shark having around 50 rows of teeth total.

Fact 2: Shark teeth are connected differently (and fall out frequently).

Shark teeth are attached to gums by soft tissue, instead of a root (like our teeth), and they fall out often! This is crucial so that when teeth are worn or broken, new, sharper teeth can replace them.

Fact 3: Sharks continue producing teeth throughout their lifetime.

When we lose a baby tooth, our adult set comes in. Sharks, however, are continually producing teeth to replace those lost. Each time a shark loses a tooth in one of the rows, the tooth behind it moves forward — acting as a conveyor belt. In fact, a shark may produce over 20,000 teeth in its lifetime!

Fact 4: Shark teeth have built-in toothpaste.

It’s no wonder sharks don’t get cavities, the outside of their teeth is made up of fluoride! Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter and can be found in all ADA accepted toothpaste.

Fact 5: A shark’s diet influences the type of teeth.

There are four basic types of shark teeth, based on their diets:

  1. Long and narrow teeth: Needle-like teeth helps certain sharks grip slippery fish.
  2. Plate-like teeth: For sharks that lurk closer to the seabed, they’ll have thick, plate-like teeth to crush shells of crustaceans or mollusks.
  3. Sharp, serrated teeth: Great whites or tiger sharks need teeth to cut for eating other mammals.
  4. Teeny, tiny teeth: Whale sharks have about 3,000 individual teeth, each about the size of a match head. These teeth don’t do much, as they tend to swallow their food (krill, plankton, small fish) whole.

There you have it! What’s your favorite shark fact? Share with us on our Facebook page!

And remember, If you have any questions about how to improve your child’s oral health, please give us a call. We specialize in caring for children’s teeth in a comfortable and caring environment, with four convenient Long Island locations!