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  • Writer's pictureThe Pink Hygienist

Why do some animals have better teeth than US?!

In the past few years a new tradition has been included in our family birthdays...well mainly for my dad. My brothers have discovered that Craigslist is an incredible source for buying animals, and I don't mean dogs/ cats/ hamsters or gerbils. We are talking goats, cows, chickens, and of course the most recent member....the she donkey with a HUGE we have taken to calling her the bearded donkey!

Since she (the donkey) was bought off of craigslist, unfortunately we don't exactly know the history of her and we have discovered that she is quite TERRIFIED of people. My dad has been working with her each week to have her come closer and eat from his hand.

I decided that I wanted to brush her teeth thinking it wouldn't be too difficult (little did I know!)! My dad told me to create the toothbrush and he would help me brush her teeth. Well, one broomstick, a brush and hot pink spray paint later, I had the PERFECT toothbrush that I was quite proud of! Too bad I didn't realize how hard it would be. My dad got her to come close to me, but the minute the toothbrush came into view...she BOLTED! Seeing her bolt, got me thinking that maybe if I follow her I could get close to her....well the field she is in is actually quite huge, and by the time I had followed her throughout the field maybe twice, I was thoroughly exhausted! So, I took a break and decided to try again in a couple hours. My dad decided that we needed a new tactic to approach with, so he came up with this BRILLIANT idea; to put her feed on the brush. Then, she could eat from it and I could start brushing and doing my thing! Well, it kinda in I got close enough to see her HUGE teeth and shove the brush against them, but not the actual BRUSHING part.....

Enticing the donkey to the toothbrush!

From this experience I started thinking, because she has amazing teeth, long and strong, but she doesn't even brush, so how in the world can this be?! So, I delved into my research to find out exactly why animals, particularly donkeys have better teeth than us! Well, it turns out that the second most common way donkeys die is from dental infections (WOW, right?!)

I couldn't believe that! Donkeys need to have their teeth checked regularly for infection! Also, the reason that they have long teeth is due to their diet. Since they are herbivores and only eat fibrous grass or hay, they are basically grinding their teeth, instead of chewing. They need long teeth to accommodate for all the grinding they do, because slowly if they had our sized teeth, they would just grind them away in a matter of months! Also, since they don't eat sweets or drink soda; their diet prevents them from getting cavities or tooth decay, the way our teeth do!

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