7 Fun Facts About Dinosaur Teeth

Drawing of the side of a scowling blue dinosaur with spikes, sharp teeth, and a purple eye

Just as the dentists at Toothology Dental can tell a lot about you and your habits from your teeth, vertebrate paleontologists learn a lot about dinosaurs from their teeth. Read on for 7 fascinating facts about dinosaur teeth!

  1. Dinosaurs grew new teeth.
  2. Scientists have found that dinosaurs grew replacement teeth, an approach that’s much more “quantity over quality” than how human teeth are.

  3. Some dinosaurs did not have teeth.
  4. “Dino Don” Lassem, author of The Ultimate Dinopedia, explains that there were also toothless dinosaurs. The orthomimids (literally Greek for “bird mimics”) are believed to have fed on vegetation, insects, small lizards, and small mammals, using their gums to grind their food into digestible bits.

  5. Tyrannosaurus Rex teeth were the longest.
  6. The longest dinosaur tooth ever recorded belonged to a T. Rex, and they were a whopping 12 inches long! This measurement includes the tooth’s root though, so the exposed part of the tooth was 6 inches long.

  7. The T. Rex was not above eating its own kind.
  8. Tyrannosaurus Rex bones have been found with T. Rex tooth gouges, suggesting it may have been a cannibal.

  9. Hadrosaurs had the most teeth.
  10. Known as the duck-billed dinosaur, hadrosaurs had beaks and up to 1,000 cheek teeth that were used to break down tough vegetation.

  11. Although the Apatosaurus had teeth, it could not chew.
  12. The Apatosaurus, a large herbivore related to the Brontosaurus, had chisel-like teeth, but likely swallowed plants whole, without chewing.

  13. Some dinosaurs are only known from their teeth.
  14. Since dinosaur teeth are harder than bone, they fossilized more readily. The Trachodon, Deinodon, and Cardiodon dinosaurs only have teeth in the fossil record.

Are you still curious about dinosaur teeth? Check out this video from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. And don’t forget to bring your dinosaur-loving, paleontologist-aspiring kids to our friendly team of Toothologists! We’d love to help them maintain strong, healthy teeth and a bright, happy smile.

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