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Shark Teeth Have Built-in Toothpaste

Sharks may have the healthiest teeth in the animal kingdom.

You’d think with all those seals, fish and the occasional surf board, sharks’ teeth would be a mass of cavities and bad dental hygiene. Not the case. Sharks may have the healthiest teeth in the animal kingdom, it turns out. Scientists just found that their pearly whites contain fluoride, the active ingredient in most toothpastes and mouthwashes.

Discovery News reports:

“(The surface of) shark teeth contains 100 percent fluoride. In principle, sharks should not suffer from cavities. As they live in water and as they change their teeth regularly, dental protection should not be a problem for sharks.”

Unfortunately for humans, we missed out on this feat of evolution. Our teeth contain hydroxyapatite, which is an inorganic substance also found in bone. In other words, not cavity resistant in the least. And let’s not forget that, in addition to their unique cavity-preventing composition, sharks have the ability to replace their teeth time and time again. When it comes to dental matters, sharks have the edge.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Stopping Sharks By Blasting Their Senses 

Shark Attack! (In a Fossil) 

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