Swamp Animals of the Bayou & Their Teeth

As you may know, our team at Jones Creek Family Dentistry is located in the beautiful state of Louisiana, in Baton Rouge. We are proud of our state, which is full of rich history and diverse ecological terrain. We’re known for our bayous, which are swamp-like streams of stagnant water. Bayous are home to lush vegetation, most notably Cypress trees, which gracefully bend over the bayou. Bayous are also home to vibrant wildlife, including alligators, snakes, bears, fish, bobcats, and birds. Here’s a quick look at some of these animals and their unique sets of chompers.

Alligators

Interestingly, the muscles alligators use to snap their jaw shut are much stronger than the ones they use to open it. Gators have between 74-80 teeth, and are able to regrow teeth throughout their lives. Their teeth aren’t very sharp and can’t chew, so gators swallow small prey whole or break it apart into smaller pieces.

Closeup view of an alligator with sharp teeth and speckled scales living in the bayou

Water Moccasin Snakes

These snakes, also known as Cottonmouth snakes, have fangs that administer venom. Their fangs are located in their upper jaw and are longer than the rest of their teeth. Water Moccasins sink their fangs into prey, and once the poison is administered, they swallow it whole. Yet another bayou animal that doesn’t chew their prey!

A water moccasin snake swims in the water of the Louisiana bayou

Pelicans

And for a third bayou animal that swallows their prey, we come to to the Pelican! Pelicans have no teeth, so after they catch and trap prey in their long bills, they swallow it whole. Or, like the alligator, if the prey is too large, they will break it into smaller bits and then swallow.

3 white pelicans with long yellow and pink peaks stand by the gray water of the Louisiana bayou

Bobcats

These wild cats have 28 teeth, which include 4 canine/fang-like teeth. Their teeth are very sharp, which allow them to bite into their prey as well as tear apart and chew thick pieces of meat.

A gray and white bobcat lounges between a rock and an old tree stump

Don’t Be a Wild Animal—Take Care of Your Teeth!

These bayou animals don’t have the same necessity of caring for their oral health as humans. Instead of swallowing our food whole, we bite, tear, chew, and grind our food with 28-32 adult teeth, so we must daily brush and floss our teeth to wash away lingering food particles. Moreover, our teeth don’t grow back like gator teeth so superb oral hygiene is critical to maintaining a healthy mouth. Do you have questions about how to improve your oral hygiene routine and protect yourself from cavities? Contact us at Jones Creek Family Dentistry!

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