Updated on February 1, 2024
2 min read

Beaver Teeth Facts

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Beavers have always been the heroes of wooden architecture. From their unique flat tails to their massive construction work, they are some of the most incredible engineers in nature.

Their teeth are just as remarkable. Beavers’ chisel-like chompers help them create intricate dams and lodges that protect against flooding and predators. 

Keep reading to discover more beaver teeth facts that will make you appreciate them even more.

6 Interesting Facts about Beaver Teeth

interesting facts about beaver teeth
  1. Their teeth never stop growing, but their relentless gnawing routine helps keep their chompers trimmed.1
  2. Beavers’ long incisors have an orange hue — thanks to a special enamel coating rich in iron.1
  3. Their softer bony teeth tissue wears away quickly, which gives their incisors a chiseled shape that can easily slice through tough materials like wood.1
  4. Behind the beaver’s four front teeth are a second set of lips. These act as shields, allowing the beaver to gnaw wood underwater without fearing swallowing unwanted debris.2
  5. The iron in their teeth makes them incredibly tough and resilient to acid.3
  6. Beavers’ razor-sharp incisors can gnaw through trees standing 10+ feet tall.4

Beaver Teeth vs. Human Teeth

There are some clear distinctions when comparing beavers’ chompers to human’s pearly whites. For one, beavers have far fewer teeth than humans. They have 20, while the average human has 32. But these furry rodents make up for it with their strong enamels.

They have twice as thick (iron-rich) enamel as humans (calcium-rich), which hardens the beaver’s teeth against all sorts of acids and other destructive elements in their environment. They can also withstand a force of up to 150 pounds per square inch (PSI).4

But that’s not to say human teeth are weak. Our pearly whites may be softer than beavers’, but they still withstand an average of 162 PSI of force. Unfortunately, our teeth are not resilient to acid like them.

Beavers’ upper central incisors (two front teeth) can also expand to 2.5 inches (6 cm).4 In contrast, a human’s average upper incisor width is 8.74 mm (men = 8.89 mm, women = 8.60 mm).5

Last updated on February 1, 2024
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 1, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute. “8 Facts to Celebrate International Beaver Day.” Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, 2019.
  2. Cassell, J. “Wood You Believe It? Beaver’s Remarkable Teeth for Building Ecosystems.” Tomorrow’s Earth Stewards, 2021.
  3. McVean, A. “Beavers Have Metal Teeth.” McGill University Office for Science and Society, 2018.
  4. Staff, M. A. “Beaver teeth: What Do They Look Like & Why Are They Orange?” Misfit Animals, 2022.
  5. Alqahtani, A. S., et. al. “Maxillary anterior teeth dimension and relative width proportion in a Saudi subpopulation.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2021.
  6. Bryan, M. “Beaver Facts.” Facts.net, 2022.
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