Nature is pretty cool when you stop and take the time to look around, especially in spring when everything is waking up from a long, dreary and dormant winter. Perhaps you and the family will consider taking a hike through nature this weekend? If you do, chances are you will truly come to appreciate that spring has officially sprung, and there are babies everywhere! For the team at Brinkley Dental, this reminds us of human babies too, and it’s a chance to talk about little ones, both ours and those we find in nature!
- The first sweet sound of spring that comes to mind is birds, lots and lots of birds! It’s a sure sign that spring has arrived when we hear the chirping and cooing, and we love this time of year. Be sure to open a window, even if you are stuck at home and not out hiking so you can hear the birdsong. But birds, of course, don’t have teeth! Or do they? Actually, birds did have teeth millions of years ago, but they have slowly evolved to the point where at best, you might find some birds with “ridges” on their bills that help them to grip food. Otherwise, most of the “chewing” is done in the gizzard, a part of their stomach.
- What else are you likely to see in spring? The answer, of course, will depend in part on where you live. Brinkley Dental, located on the Brampton/Caledon border, would be close to creatures such as chipmunks, foxes and coyotes, while a little farther north in Ontario, you might find a bear or even a moose. If you are near a body of water, seeing an otter or beaver might be a part of your hike. What do all of these animals have in common? Yup – you guessed it – teeth!
- Chipmunks have four teeth near the front of the mouth, and they never stop growing. That’s a little different from our own babies, who actually DO typically start with teeth in the front of their mouths, but the difference is, our baby teeth only last for a little while, fall out and are replaced with adult teeth.
- Foxes and Coyotes are sometimes confused for one another by folks who don’t know much about them. One of the biggest clues you can use to differentiate them is their size. Coyotes are much larger. Both have teeth, however, and strong ones! Coyote pups depend on their mother for nursing at least the first few weeks of life, similar of course to how our own babies rely on Mom. Foxes, too, are completely dependant as when they are born, they are unable to see, hear OR walk! Who knew? Dependency is a common theme in nature and in humans, it seems.
- Moose and Bears also share some similarities with us humans. Like human babies, moose go through two sets of teeth, as infants and then young adults. The cycle is a lot faster than in human babies, of course, but similar nonetheless. As for bears, again, like most human babies, they are born without teeth.
- Finally, beavers and otters both have teeth and very strong ones at that! The biggest difference between the two is that an otter’s teeth have quite a gap between them while a beaver’s teeth are virtually conjoined.
Now you know what to look for when out in nature, and we hope you make the most of the nice days in spring to get outside, maybe go for that hike, and to generally enjoy the great outdoors. If you’d like to know more about baby tooth development and when is a good time to schedule your first visit to the Dentist, we would be happy to talk with you. With most babies, you can expect to see tooth development begin around the age of six months. It can be as early as four months, however, and in some cases, you may not see a tooth until your child has had their first birthday! If you have concerns about your baby and their teeth or perhaps even a question about how to manage teething pain, consider a call to the team at Brinkley Dental and remember good habits start early! “Don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and brush that smile!”