Beavers certainly don’t have pearly whites. Their enamel contains iron, giving their teeth a brown, “needs to be brushed” color. But surprisingly, this enamel provides beavers with pretty good protection against tooth decay.

By mapping the enamel’s structure, researchers learned how the iron and magnesium in the enamel contribute to a harder tooth. It turns out that the beaver’s pigmented enamel is also superior to fluoride-treated enamel when it comes to resisting acid.

Could researchers have found a way to improve human tooth enamel? By studying the internal structure and chemical composition of the teeth, the hope is that beavers may be able to inspire improvements in fluoride treatments and contribute to a better understanding of tooth decay in humans.

Read more about this research here.

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