How Crocodiles Brush Their Teeth

Crocodiles can’t brush or floss their teeth. So they get birds to do it for them.

Crocodiles can’t chew. They can only bite, tear and gulp food. So a lot of food gets stuck in their teeth. That attracts parasites, bacteria and leeches. And those can lead to toothaches and sore gums.


When crocodiles need their teeth cleaned they know just what to do. They beach themselves and open their mouth wide and stay very still. They stay like that until plover birds come along. Brave little plovers actually hop into the croc’s mouth and set about pulling food scraps and parasites out of their teeth. 

It’s a big win for both. The crocodile gets its teeth cleaned and the birds get a free dinner.

Learn more about flossing your child’s teeth here.