While teeth and bones are both hard and heavy with calcium, they are also very different from one another. Teeth are composed of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals. They are mostly made of calcified tissue called dentine, and are covered in hard, shiny enamel. And, unlike bone, teeth cannot heal themselves. Bone is also tucked away under the skin, muscle and other tissues while teeth are bare and on display – which is why it’s important to look after your pearly whites!
Now it’s time for some strong-tooth trivia!
What’s the strongest substance found in living organisms?
A) Elephant tusks
B) Human bones
C) Spider silk
D) Bear claws
E) Snail teeth
If you chose E, you’re right! Aquatic snails, commonly called limpets, have teeny tiny teeth that are made of the hardest biological material ever found. Their teeth are made from a composite of proteins and minerals, and is 5 times stronger than spider silk (the previous record-holder), and almost as strong as artificial carbon fibers! And as long as we’re comparing, limpet teeth are about 10 times harder than human teeth.
Snail teeth are pretty hard to see because they’re so small–often less than a millimeter long. So why do snails even need such strong teeth? According to recent research, these snails use their extra strong teeth not only to scrape yummy algae from rocks, but also to excavate small shelters in the rocks themselves!
Teeth are always important, no matter how tiny! Let Chesapeake Pediatric Dental Group look after your pearly whites for you! Call us today!
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