How do Beavers Avoid Cavities?
Ever since we first visited the dentist as children, we’ve been urged to brush and floss regularly in order to prevent cavities. Tooth decay is a widespread problem for kids and adults alike, but did you know that tooth decay is not a problem at all for beavers, even though they never brush? A recent study has figured out why beavers naturally have such strong, decay-resistant teeth.
The secret lies in the chemical makeup of beaver teeth. While their teeth are not structurally different than human teeth, they are much stronger, because they contain iron. That accounts for the orange-colored enamel on their front teeth, and also the reason why a beaver can chew through a log in an hour or two.
The study, conducted at Northwestern University, discovered that the enamel of beaver teeth is laminated with a rich layer of iron and magnesium, which protect the teeth from acid damage. Tooth enamel is made up of nanowires that are stacked and woven together and are mostly made of calcium. The discovery of the iron and magnesium in beaver teeth explains why they’re so strong.
The discovery of this mineral layer that laminates the hardy beaver teeth has given researchers a better understanding of the nature of tooth enamel, which could lead to developing new ways to prevent tooth decay in humans, which is still one of the most common chronic diseases in America.
For now, regular brushing and flossing habits and visiting your Arizona dentist regularly are still the best ways to prevent tooth decay. If you have extra concerns involving cavities, or if you have young children at home, talk to your dentist about fluoride treatments and other ways to keep your and your family’s teeth healthy and strong. If it’s time for a checkup, make an appointment today!