How Much Toothpaste Does a Dragon Need?

Brushing your teeth takes a lot of math. Depending on your age, you might have 10, 20 or even 30 teeth, and you have to brush for 2 minutes to make sure you hit every tooth. It’s serious business. So how would this work for a Komodo dragon? That big lizard has 60 teeth, and those chompers can be up to 1 inch long. So dragons definitely need more toothpaste than people. Read on to figure out how much!   

Wee ones: If you’ve brushed your teeth for 1 minute, are you done yet? 

Little kids: If you start November with 8 teeth, then lose 2 teeth, then grow 1 new tooth, how many teeth do you have now? Bonus: If a Komodo dragon uses 2 feet of dental floss every day, how many feet does it use in a week (7 days)? 

Big kids: Your pet dragon doesn’t brush enough, and gets a cavity in every 4th tooth (starting with the 4th) and in every 6th tooth (starting with the 6th). What’s the first number tooth that gets 2 cavities? Bonus: Say a Komodo dragon has twice as many teeth as a person, and each tooth has 4 times the area to brush. If a person uses 7 ounces of toothpaste in 1 year, how much does the Komodo dragon need?  


Wee ones: No, you need to brush for 1 more minute! 

Little kids: 7 teeth now: 8 – 2 = 6, 6 + 1 = 7. Bonus: 14 feet: 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2. 

Big kids: The 12th tooth, since that’s divisible by both 4 and 6. We have to wait till the 24th tooth…can you figure out why not? Bonus: 56 ounces, because there’s 8 times as much tooth area (4 x 2) to brush. 

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