Fun Animal Facts

Why Don’t Animals Have To Brush Their Teeth? 5 Reasons Why!

by Rob Byron

As humans, we need to brush our teeth three times a day. Our parents told us that when we are young. They told us that if we don’t brush our teeth, we will have some cavities that will cause toothache. If humans need to brush their teeth, how about animals? Do they need to brush their teeth? 

Do animals need to brush their teeth? No. The reason why is because animals have different diets from humans. Wild animals eat raw and natural food that hasn’t been processed. This kind of diet is healthy for the teeth. Also, animals have short lifespans. They don’t need their teeth to last long. 

Aside from the reason above, there are other reasons why animals don’t have to brush their teeth. We are also going to answer different questions related to our topic. You can learn more about this subject! If you are ready, let’s go! 

First, let’s take a look at the other reasons why animals don’t have to brush their teeth! 

Reasons Why Animals Don’t Need To Brush Their Teeth

Why Don't Animals Have To Brush Their Teeth

Animals Have Different Diets

The first reason why animals don’t have to brush their teeth is that they have different diets. Animals that are not domesticated eat raw and natural foods. They don’t eat processed foods. 

Humans eat a lot of processed foods, while the animals in the jungle do not. That is the reason why humans have to brush their teeth. When humans eat any processed food, it affects the enamel on the teeth. This will make the teeth of humans weak and may lead to cavities if not brushed properly. 

On the other side, animals don’t eat processed foods. Animals that are not domesticated eat whatever they see around them. They will eat apples, carrots, the meat of other animals, insects, bugs, and more!

This is why they don’t need a dentist to take care of their teeth and give them a prescription for what kind of toothpaste they need to buy to protect their teeth.

However, your pets eat processed foods. Right? Well, I think you know what I am trying to say. But we’ll talk about that later. 

Animals Continually Grow New Teeth

The other reason why animals don’t have to brush their teeth is that they continually grow new teeth. Not all animals, but some of them do. One example is the sharks. 

Sharks continually grow new teeth all the time because their teeth fade away fast. The reason why is because sharks chew hard stuff like bones. 

Ground sharks are the largest type of sharks in the world. They have 270 species. These sharks shed 35,000 teeth in a lifetime. When one of their teeth fades out, they will grow a new one. 

Sharks have different shapes of their teeth. Some sharks have pointy teeth like the needle, while the others are triangular. Their teeth are very sharp, and they can cut anything!. However, did you know that sharks are afraid of dolphins? But that is a different story!

The largest teeth of a shark that has ever lived have the same size as the human hands. However, these guys have all died or got extinct already. So there is no reason for you to be scared.

The other animal that can grow their teeth continually is the rodents. Rodents are gnawing animals, and they have large teeth too. The incisors of rodents are rootless, and it grows continually. 

Crocodiles also grow their teeth continually. They replace their teeth over forty times in a lifetime. Crocodiles don’t need to brush their teeth to prevent their teeth from fading. Instead, they get rid of them and replace them with another. They are one of the animals that have the most powerful bites.

Check the reason why crocodiles are afraid of the hippos!

Animals Have Short Lifespans

Most animals have short lifespans. They are not like the jellyfishes that can live for a thousand years. Because they have short lifespans, they do not need their teeth to last long like humans. 

Humans live longer than most animals, which is why we need to take care of our teeth. We need to take care of our teeth because it is expensive to buy dentures. If you have no enough money for dentures, you will be unable to eat your food. 

Here is the list of lifespans of the famous animals in the world. 

  • Dogs: 10-13 years old
  • Cats 2-16 years old
  • Tigers: 10-15 years old
  • Horses: 25-30 years old
  • Lions: 10-14 years old
  • Crocodiles: 70-100 years old
  • Pigs: 15-20 years old
  • Rodents: 1-18 years old
  • Parakeets: 5-30 years old
  • Common ravens: 10-15 years old

See the lifespans of some animals above? They have short lifespans. Right? That is why they don’t need to brush their teeth because they won’t need them for so long. 

However, animals like crocodiles that can live 70 years old and up also don’t brush their teeth even if they live long. Why? Because animals like crocodiles can grow their teeth continually. They don’t prevent their teeth from fading because they replace them with another one.

Animals Have A Different Kind Of Saliva

Animals don’t have to brush their teeth because they have different kinds of saliva compared to humans. Dogs, lions, tigers, wolves, and other large cats and canines have high levels of pH in their saliva. 

The canine saliva has a pH of 8.5, while the human’s saliva has a pH of around 7.5. Because animals have higher pH of saliva, they do not get cavities too often. Higher pH in saliva helps animals to keep the cavities away without brushing their teeth with toothpaste. 

Also, the saliva of the animals can heal wounds. This is the reason why you see your dogs or cats lick their wounds. Their saliva has a cleaning effect like alcohol. It helps them to keep bacteria away. 

Animals Clean Their Teeth In Nature’s Way

Herbivores like elephants and cows love to eat foods that are rich in fiber. They need to chew their food for a very long time to digest food properly. 

Because these animals always chew fiber-food, their teeth become healthy. They use their fiber-food as their chewing gum, and it is effective to clean their teeth. 

All animals have their own way of cleaning their teeth, and most of them use nature’s way. However, domesticated animals like dogs and cats need dental care because they are exposed to processed foods. 

What Animals Clean Their Teeth?

Never be confused because these animals don’t use toothbrushes even though they can clean their teeth. There are no animals except humans that can use a toothbrush. Understood?

Below are some of the animals that can clean their teeth without the use of a toothbrush.


Animals like cows will eat food that will remove food between their teeth when they chew. Because cows chew all the time, this helps them to keep their teeth clean and white. Also, cows chew their food many times so that they will be able to digest it properly. 

There are other animals that always chew. When these animals chew grass in their mouth, all the grass will be everywhere inside their mouth. This helps animals that always chew to get rid of the old food between their teeth. It is like a string of dental floss for these animals. 

Big Cats

Wild cats like lions, cheetahs, and tigers will chew bones. They love eating bones from their prey!

The bone will act as a toothpick for these big cats. While they chew on the bones, they will loosen the food that is getting stuck between their teeth. 

These big cats have sharp and long teeth. Bones are essential for them to remove excess food between their teeth. 


Elephants have huge teeth, and they use their teeth for many purposes, not just for eating. That is why they need their teeth to be clean and strong. Elephants have an amazing way of cleaning and making their teeth stronger. 

Elephants clean their teeth by rubbing their teeth against trees. They basically use trees as their toothbrushes. 

Scientists said that male elephants take care of their teeth and make them as clean as possible. Why? Because they use this to impress the female elephants. Elephants are conscious of their teeth like humans. They are conscious because they don’t want to get rejected by their crush. 

The incisors of elephants will keep growing while they are getting older. 


Why Don't Animals Have To Brush Their Teeth

This is one of the coolest and unbelievable things I have found out. It is not the crocodiles themselves cleaning their teeth but the birds!

First, the crocodile will hunt and eat it if they successfully kill their prey. When crocodiles have finished eating their delicious meal, the little birds around them will go inside their mouth to pick up all the excess food between their teeth. 

This is one of the best partnerships between two animals in the animal kingdom. After the process, both of them will benefit from it. The crocodiles will have shinier teeth, while the birds will get free food. 

However, even though there are no birds around to clean their teeth, crocs are not afraid. They are not scared if their teeth will become dirty and break down because they can replace them with another one.


Wolves also clean their teeth. They have the same way the big cats clean their teeth. Wild dogs and other types of canines clean their teeth when they gnaw on the bones of the animals they killed

However, pet dogs that are always eating processed foods need to brush their teeth. Processed foods can destroy the teeth of your pet dogs. 

Do Your Pets Need You To Brush Their Teeth?

Why Don't Animals Have To Brush Their Teeth

Yes! Your pets need you to brush their teeth. You have to think about their dental care. 

You need to give your pets the right food. Animals should be eating raw and natural food without any preservatives and flavors. However, because we want something easy, we have invented processed foods for our pets that are bad for their teeth. 

Your pets need to eat natural foods too. You need to pay attention to what you feed on your pet because it will help you determine whether they will have healthy teeth or teeth with lots of cavities. 

You need to give your pets a balanced meal. Give them some processed foods, but never neglect the natural food. I do this to my pets, and I usually feed them three times a day. I give them natural food in the morning and lunch (steamed chicken or pork) and processed food for their dinner. 

But if you are lazy to cook for your pets and all you feed them is processed foods, you have to brush their teeth. Bring your pets to the vet for a healthy teeth checkup.

What Are The Pets That You Need To Brush Their Teeth?

Like I have said above, animals have a natural way of keeping cavities away from their teeth. However, because processed foods have been created for our pets, we need to start helping our pets with their dental care because processed foods are destroying their teeth. 

The two pets that need humans to help them keep their teeth healthy are dogs and cats.

Dogs and cats will have an oral problem if you don’t check their teeth and feed them the right food

Diet is the essential thing that you need to pay close attention to if you want to keep your pet’s teeth healthy. What you feed them will define how healthy their teeth will be. If you always feed them processed food, do not expect their teeth to be healthy. 

You can bring your dog and cats to the vet for oral checkups. Also, you can give your pets a Dentastix or other hard items that will help them remove the tartar on their teeth. It is better to ask a vet before buying.

Why Do Animals Have Straight Teeth?

The reason why animals have straight teeth is because of their diet and evolution. Most domesticated animals have crooked teeth because they are always fed processed foods. On the other hand, most wild animals have no crooked teeth because they eat natural foods with no preservatives. 

In the wild, animals that have crooked teeth tend to live shorter. Why? Because they can’t process their food and defend themselves from predators that have straight teeth. 

Like I have said above, diet plays a large role in determining your oral health. Animals need a healthy diet to have healthy and strong teeth. 

Final Thoughts

Animals that live in the forest have healthier teeth than animals that live in the zoo or have been domesticated. Wild animals eat purely natural foods, which is why they don’t need to brush their teeth and don’t need humans to take care of their oral health.

Rob Byron
Learning about and helping all kinds of animals has been in my blood as long as I can remember. I've been part of many different animal associations over the years so I decided to create this animal info blog with my family who are all involved with animal rescue in some capacity. Also, Because Animals Matter!
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