Why Cats And Dogs Don't Need Braces.
Nature usually does a good job while making bodies. From Face to feet, we are roughly symmetrical. So are other animals. Unlike other animals, though, it is quite common for human beings to not have symmetrical teeth. Our teeth jut backword and forward and sideways to the delight of orthodontists. Why are we the only animals to have malformed teeth? "The short answer is not that our teeth are too large, but that our jaws are too small to fit them in," writes Peter Ungar, a dental anthropologist at University of Arkansas. While working with the foraging, Hadza tribe in Tanzania, Ungar found that they had perfect teeth. "They have got a lot of teeth. Most have 20 back teeth, whereas the rest of us tend to have 16 erupted and working. Hadza also typically have a tip-to-tip bite between the upper and lower front teeth; and the edges of their lowers align to form a perfect, flawless arch." The size of teeth depends on genetics,but that of the jaw, Ungar says, is also determined by environment. In 2004, Harvard evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman showed that the ultimate length of a jaw depends on the stress put on it during chewing. "Our teeth don't fit because they evolved instead to match the longer jaw that would develop in a more challenging strain environment. Ours are too short because we don't give them the workout nature expects us to." Our best hope to have properly aligned teeth, then, is to eat some tough food right from childhood. Chewing cane and biting into core on the cob is definitely healthier than slurping down cornflakes.
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