Shark teeth vs. Human teeth

  1. Sharks and humans alike have enamel on their teeth that serve to make the teeth as hard as they are.
  2. And like humans, sharks lose their teeth as well. 
    • We lose our first 20 teeth (primary teeth) while we are young and then are limited to the same 32 teeth for the rest of our lives. 
    • Some sharks can shed approximately 35,000 teeth in a lifetime, replacing those that fall out.  Sharks have many rows of teeth, and new ones are constantly arriving from the back of the mouth.  The serrated teeth that sharks have also fall out quicker than human teeth, due to their not growing out of a jaw bone, but just being connected to the animal's skin by way of a fibrous membrane.
  3. There are four basic types of shark teeth: dense flattened (nurse sharks), needle-like (bull sharks), pointed lower with triangular upper (Great White shark), and non-functional (Whale shark). The type of tooth that a shark has depends on its diet and feeding habits.
  4. Humans have four types of teeth as well but are present in all humans: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Incisors are used for biting food while canines rip and tear food apart.  Premolars and molars are used for chewing and grinding the food.
  5. Unlike humans, sharks can't get cavities!
    • What makes sharks unique is that their teeth seem to be coated in fluoride.  According to research published in 2012 in the Journal of Structural Biology, at least two species of sharks, makos and tiger sharks, feature teeth whose outer coatings "contained one hundred percent fluoride."
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