Bearded dragons are quite the interesting reptile that are very distinctive and in many ways. It recently occurred to me that I didnt know whether they have teeth or not and what this could mean for an owner. I decided to conduct some research into the topic to understand further. I would like to share this information here with you today.
So, do bearded dragons have teeth? Yes, bearded dragons have small teeth in which they are born with. The average bearded dragon has around 80 teeth in total (on average), which are known to fall out and grow back over the course of their lives. Teeth are used to catch prey and support the feeding process.
Bearded dragons, despite their name, are relatively docile in captivity and are not likely to use their teeth to bite. That being said this can and does occur with inappropriate and ineffective handling and ownership practices.
Let us now explore the topic further so that you can get a better understanding of the bearded dragon lizard and the teeth in which they posses.
How Many Teeth Do Bearded Dragons Have?
Little bearded dragons have a whole smile full of tiny little teeth. The exact number of teeth that a bearded dragon has varies a bit. They have about 11 to 17 teeth on the upper jaw on each side and 13 to 18 on each side of the bottom jaw.
Specific species and individuals will have a different amount of teeth and this variation is natural and to be expected.
The teeth that bearded dragons have are considered to be unusual when compared to other animals and even reptiles.
Their front teeth are known to fall out and grow back regularly.
Teeth are used primarily for grabbing and tearing apart live prey – which usually comes in the form of insects.
Their side teeth are fixed and permanent, firmly attached to their jaws.
The side teeth on the other hand are used for chewing vegetable matter, and breaking down the tough fibers of this type of food.
Do Baby Bearded Dragons Have Teeth?
Unlike humans, many animals in the wild do not get the benefit of baby food. Babies in the wild often need to start worrying about catching their dinner from day one. What exactly does this mean? Well, mom and dad aren’t going to help them out as much.
Baby bearded dragons need to already be able to chew and catch their own food. Because of these, they don’t get to go through the stage of having a gummy little smile. If that were the case, they would struggle to get a sufficient amount of nutrition needed to survive.
In order to beat these odds, they need to have their teeth from day one. This means that the little bearded dragons come out of their eggs with a bunch of little teeth. Are they very different from their adult teeth?
Well, they keep the same teeth. That being said there will be a difference in appearance between the teeth of a newborn baby bearded dragon and an elderly one. Even with proper care, they cant keep their chompers sharp forever. Although their teeth are always rather small and hard to see, they will become smaller and blunter with age.
This isn’t due to any dramatic anatomical morphs, though. Rather, this is due to the nature of their lives. It makes sense when you think about it. If you constantly chew on a bunch of food over and over, they are eventually going to get a little rounded off with erosion of use and time.
Think about it this way. When you first get a pencil- it is nice and sharp to the point. Eventually, with regular use, it will become less sharp. For the most part, it will still work for a long time, but it will never be back to its original sharpness unless you sharpen it again.
Of course, a bearded dragon’s teeth are much more durable than a pencil tip-but you get the picture.
Factors That Impact Bearded Dragon Dental Health
There are certain factors involved that will impact the health of your bearded dragons teeth. Being aware of such will help you to manage and take care of them ahead of time, before any problems begin to develop.
In the wild, it may be difficult to control these things, but in the comfort of your home, you get a little more power.
The health of a Bearded Dragons teeth will mostly be affected by:
Let us now take a closer look at each one.
Make sure that your bearded dragons are given a good diet and even offer them some vitamin supplements when needed.
Bearded Dragons can and do suffer from plaque, just like us humans if our teeth are not regularly cleaned and looked after.
Over time plaque develops into tartar – causing teeth and gum problems and pain to your lizard.
To prevent this from occurring, reptile experts state that you should reduce the amount of citrus and sugary fruits that you feed.
Instead, opt for more insects and vegetables which have a protective effect on the teeth. They also support natural cleaning when eaten.
As a general rule of thumb, here are what is what a good diet looks like for each stage of their lives:
- Baby Bearded Dragon – 60% Insects, 40% Vegetation
- Adult Bearded Dragon- 80% insect 20% vegetation
Having the proper light within the enclosure is another pivotal factor for healthy teeth in your bearded dragon.
Using an appropriate UVB lighting setup will ensures that they can properly and effectively absorb calcium. If the setup is wrong, broken or faulty – this can cause wide scale affects to the health of your bearded dragon – the teeth are just one areas that will be affected.
Setting up the basking lamp with the right temperature is also paramount too. This will ensure they are able to rest and digest properly – extracting and absorbing all the nutrients they can and require from their diet.
This will not be the case for all of you; only those who want to own more than one bearded dragon.
If you do decide to own more than one, be aware that you should keep them in separate enclosures. They are mostly solitary reptiles and territorial in nature – meaning that they are likely to fight when kept together.
They may fight as a sign of dominance, for food or to claim their territory. Teeth can be damaged or removed in any such circumstance.
How To Promote Bearded Dragon Dental Health
There are certain things to promote dental health which could help keep their teeth in tip-top shape.
Of course, there aren’t many reptile dentists out there, but you can always take your lizard to the vet if you are ever worried about something not being right.
There are also some small things you can do to take care of their teeth. Cleaning their teeth with a small brush can help remove plaque before it can harden into something harder to clean. They just need to be wiped a pit with a tiny cotton swab soaked in a chlorhexidine solution. This is the solution to buy from Amazon based on customer reviews and price.
Be very gentle when doing this and try to keep your lizard calm. Typically, bearded dragons are very friendly and this process is pretty easy to accomplish.
This is a safe thing to put into the mouth of a bearded dragon. Be sure to NEVER use human toothpaste or any other human products without directly talking to your vet.
Be sure to always talk to your vet when products don’t specify your species on the label. Even if they are not mentioned on the label, it is still likely that the animal could be covered.
Also, visit a vet if you are looking for some guidance on how to safely clean the teeth of your bearded dragon.
This can help keep the growth of bacteria to a minimum. The lowered risk of bacterial growth means that it will be easier for your bearded dragon to keep their smile nice and healthy for many years to come.
It also reduces the chances of having to do with an infection growing which can ultimately be detrimental to their health in other aspects outside of dental work.
Do Bearded Dragons Have Venom?
Many lizards evolved to have some sort of venom. Theoretically speaking, this would mean that pretty much all lizards would have some sort of venom gland -or at least some leftover mechanisms of it.
Being rather friendly animals, many people believed these animals were harmless and they didn’t have any venom. The surprising truth is that these guys actually have small venom glands.
Before you start to panic, rest assured you have nothing to worry about. Bearded dragons have such a mild venom that it doesn’t even affect humans. In fact, the only thing it can really injure is incredibly small prey.
That being said, they are not considered dangerous animals at all unless you are a cricket. This doesn’t mean they can’t cause you any pain though.
Do Bearded Dragons Bite?
Bearded dragons are known for their very docile nature. Even in the wild, it is pretty easy to just go grab one off the ground and safely handle it.
These friendly critters are not known as rash or scary as their name would suggest. Unfortunately, while this applies to the average bearded dragon, we all know outliers exist. There are some bearded dragons that happen to be a little feistier than others.
Just as these exceptions to the rule exist in the wild -they can end up in your terrarium at home. They do bite occasionally and, while it won’t end up leaving as much of a mark as a comodo dragon or tiger- it can still smart a bit.
While there are some animals that don’t like to be handled and bites can be unavoidable, there are sometimes steps you can take to prevent getting bitten. For one thing, learn how to handle your bearded dragon properly. Handling them properly means can limit the amount of stress exerted on the animal.
You can also be sure to approach the animal with caution and consider its feelings when you go to interact with them. Generally, if you take these steps in order to ensure that they feel comfortable when you approach them.
Another way to keep them feeling destressed is to keep them healthy. When their cages are well cleaned and their food and water is plenty, then they will be in a better mood to deal with visitors. For the most part, their temperament makes them rather docile and they are happy to be held and handled regularly.
Bearded dragons do have teeth, in fact they have quite a few of them. They serve a purpose; supporting the catching of food in which they have needed for much of their time while being in the wild.
Bearded dragons are a popular reptile to keep as a pet, especially if you have children.
While they may look intimidating, this is not usually shown in their personalities in a healthy and well looked after pet.
They are generally very friendly lizards, known to be easygoing for the most part and a great pet to educate kids about life and the responsibilities that come with it.
This doesn’t mean that these animals are entirely defenseless little creatures though and biting can and does occur. This is why you need to be careful and vigilant at all times.
With proper handling and care you can live safely with your bearded dragon and enjoy what they have to offer as an exotic pet.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.