You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen… but do you know about their teeth? It may surprise you to learn a few facts about Santa’s furry friends and what it takes to keep them healthy. Here are a few fun facts about reindeer teeth, for the curious reindeer fans in your life.
Reindeer Have More Teeth Than Humans
While we humans have 32 teeth in adulthood, reindeer have 34. This gives them the proper tools needed to chew their food.
Reindeer Teeth Are Very Similar to a Cow’s Teeth
Reindeer are ruminants. Ruminants are animals that graze on grass and chew on regurgitated food, also known as cud. This allows them to more easily digest tough plants and shrubs.
Reindeer Teeth Were Designed to Eat Grass
They don’t have incisors on the upper jaw. Instead, they have something called a “dental plate” that allows them to chew grass. Their molars and premolars are flat and hard, perfect for chewing and grinding grass and hay.
They Have Sharp Incisors
Although reindeer subsist on a plant-based diet, they still need sharp teeth to cut and chew fresh grass. Think of a lawnmower. Grass can be toughly embedded into the earth, and animals that eat grass must have powerful teeth to pull it. Although their teeth aren’t pointy like a dog or cat’s, they are still sharp.
Like you, a reindeer needs to keep a healthy diet to maintain great oral hygiene and a beautiful smile. Luckily for them, they don’t have access to sugary sweets that could give them cavities! Follow their lead and eat plenty of green plants and veggies if you want strong teeth.
If you’re in need of a cleaning or service, please contact our office so we can get you set up. From everyone at Helotes Family Dentistry, Happy Holidays!Contact Us