Have you ever noticed that a hamster’s teeth are yellow?
What can be an alarm sign for bad oral hygiene in humans is completely normal in hamsters.
In this article we tell you why hamsters have yellow teeth, how you can ideally care for them and what you should not do under any circumstances.
Hamsters and their yellow teeth
Many hamster owners are worried about the yellowish teeth of their cute rodents.
But don’t worry: this is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about!
You don’t have to reach for a toothbrush to bring the teeth back to their former glory. In fact, you would be doing immense damage, because the yellow discoloration is only the harmless side effect of an essential and natural rodent equipment.
It is in fact a thick layer of enamel that covers the front of the nail teeth, staining them more and more over time.
You’ll learn why this yellowish pigmented coating plays such a significant key role for your fluffy pet’s nail teeth in a later chapter.
What actually causes the yellow discoloration?
There are various assumptions on this.
One assumes that the enzymes present in saliva cause contamination in the forming tooth enamel and thus cause the yellow discoloration.
Another theory is that tiny particles of food color are deposited on the enamel and thus cause the unsightly tooth color.
Especially so-called “carotenoids”, which are contained in the food plants and iron are the main culprits here.
Are hamsters already born with yellow teeth?
For the reasons mentioned above, the teeth are not yellow from birth. The teeth of the young animals are still white or light pink.
Only with the formation of the tooth enamel the teeth become more and more yellow.
This process is quite fast and also affects only the front incisors, the molars remain white and not pigmented.
By the way: There are even other rodent species, such as beavers or nutrias, in which the tooth color turns out even more extreme. Here, a bright orange or brown-red is a sign of good dental health and hard biting tools.
White teeth in hamsters are even unhealthy
Normally, white teeth are a sign of good care and high dental health, while yellow and brownish discolored teeth are evidence of neglect and disease.
But with hamsters, the opposite is true!
If you notice snow-white teeth on your cute rodent, this is unfortunately no reason for joy.
Most of the time, this disease manifestation manifests itself in older animals and it means that there is too little enamel on the teeth.
As a result, the teeth become porous and break off more easily.
Tooth enamel and its important function in hamsters
This mineral-containing coating ensures that the teeth bite down hard and that even hard food can be crushed without any problems.
The enamel thus has a protective and hardening function and thus forms an elementary basis for the dental health of your hamster. This is because it enables him to chew popular nibbles, such as gnaw sticks, but also cookies and dry food.
The hamster’s dentition – development and structure
Hamsters belong to the mouse family and are already equipped with their complete set of teeth before birth or shortly thereafter.
In total, the popular pet has 16 teeth, these are 4 incisors and 12 molars.
The upper incisors reach a length of 5 – 7 mm, the lower ones become significantly longer with a good 1.5 cm.
Your hamster’s molars are firmly anchored in the upper and lower jaw with long roots, while his front teeth are rootless.
Why this is so and which rare phenomenon is behind it, I will tell you in the next chapter.
The structure of the dentition is typical for rodents. This means that the molars are separated from the nail teeth by a large toothless gap.
In contrast to humans, the incisors of the cute rodent grow continuously – throughout its entire life.
Researchers have found that hamster teeth grow by one millimeter every two days. Therefore, it is essential that you provide your hamster with enough opportunities to properly wear down his teeth.
This includes a species-appropriate diet as well as suitable rodent toys.
How do you keep your hamster’s teeth healthy? Great care tips for your pet’s chewing tools!
1: Cage equipment
Equip the cage with twigs and branches, your hamster can use them to satisfy his innate gnawing instinct and also wear down his teeth in a natural way.
Hazelnut branches are good for this, but you can also use smaller branches from fruit trees.
2: Food plan
Did you know that dangerous cavities can also form on hamster teeth? Or that the little teeth grow too long if they are not worn down?
As a result, injuries can occur and trouble-free eating is hardly possible.
To prevent this, healthy feeding is the key. A mix of nutrient-rich grains and seeds (spelt, millet, oats, sunflower seeds, soybeans, etc.) provides a “super food” for your cute rodent.
If you also provide him with fresh fruit and vegetables every day and include nuts in his diet for a change, your hamster will be well taken care of.
The main thing is that his strong teeth are sufficiently challenged: The harder the feast, the more his teeth will enjoy the crunchy challenge.
3: Regular control
Take a close look at your hamster’s teeth once a month, or even more often in older animals, as the teeth can become weaker with age due to the loss of enamel.
This way you can react quickly if anything is wrong.
Suitable rodent toys make every hamster’s heart beat faster.
You can find a huge selection of special chewing toys for your little darling in specialized stores or online.
Pure wood as a natural material is best suited, it should of course be non-toxic and free of colorful decorations.
If you have a little talent and a creative streak, you can also make the toy yourself. Often, even with everyday objects can conjure up great ways to nibble and gnaw.
With the implementation of this advice you make a good contribution to the health and care of the hamster teeth. Have fun with it and always “good bite” for your hamster!
My name is Mark and the senior editor
I take great pride in being the best possible author and giving you the knowledge that i have on all different types of animals!
I have spent a lifetime learning about pets and animals, and have worked in the pet and vet industry for over 20 years now!
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