Did you know that the word rodent is from Latin rodere "to gnaw". All rodents are characterized by their nonstop growing incisors. A rats front and lower incisors grow on average almost 3 mm a week. If trimmed they can end up growing a whopping 1 mm a day! I find it amazing that if one is broken, it has been shown to grow faster to play 'catch up'.
To keep their teeth down to an efficient size they will gnaw on hard items along with bruxing. (Bruxing is when the rat will basically grind their teeth) When they brux they are moving their lower jaw in front of upper jaw, in a back and forth rapid movement. Another name for this is 'thegosis' meaning to sharpen teeth. [Greek Thego - sharpen]
Now that the mini science lesson is over, what do we do to help the ratties in our mischief keep a healthy tooth length? Overall, our ratties do not chew on too many things in the cage. Certain types of plastics seem to be fair game. They also like some of the hard wood products we use in the cage. The one thing we discovered by accident, happens to be another product by Critter Ware - their Lava Star. We pick one up at the feed store for $1.50, last year, when we were wanting to decorate for the 4th of July. The girls went crazy for it and now insist we buy them a new one every couple months. Of course to be fair the boys get one too! We have bought other blocks, but this particular one seems to be used up completely every 2 months. The others are often just dragged to their litter box and peed on - lol.
***** Overall, I would rate the Critter Ware - Lava Star - 5 out of 5 stars!
(Links may not be the current cheapest around but will give you an idea of what we are talking about. All of the Amazon Smile links can benefit Best Friends Rodent Rescue. It is simple to set up - follow directions at the top of the Amazon for 'Amazon Smile' then find their non profit charity. Once you set it up, save a bookmark for every time you use Amazon)