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Rodent teeth won't bleach out

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by akvz, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. akvz

    akvz New Member

    I couldn't think of a more appropriate title-- I know people will click this and think I'm trying to bleach the orange out of the teeth or something... but no. I have this muskrat skull, great shape except for the teeth will NOT bleach out. They were macerated, black anaerobic bacteria settled on the teeth, typical rodent fare. Sat for a week in ammonia, 2-3 days in dawn just to be sure it was degreased, and then a 36 hour soak in roughly 6% H2O2. It was already pretty white when degreased fully and this just got it snow white.... except the incisors, and not for the reasons expected:

    [​IMG]

    I've scrubbed them, soaked the teeth for 72 hours in 6% peroxide total, and... this is as good as I've got. Should I just throw them back in a peroxide soak for a while longer? I only haven't done it because I'm worried of damaging the teeth... Honestly, I wouldn't even mind if they were solid black because it looks really cool just out of maceration in that way, but this clouded semi-orange stuff is killing me.
     
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I have had teeth turn black and showed that in my beaver skull maceration thread. I used either 12 or 27% peroxide though. Maybe the dilute stuff isn't strong enough? I can't say that peroxide would damage the teeth or the bone. Never had bacteria black stay dark though.
     

  3. akvz

    akvz New Member

    I'm used to rodent teeth turning black, along with some otters and wolves, but they all seem to come out with peroxide... or even just during dawn/ammonia degreasing sometimes! I actually whitened 3-4 beavers in 3% because my Sally's ran out of the 40VOL peroxide and I was impatient... and all the teeth came out orange as usual.

    Just seems odd that this tiny little muskrat has very stubborn bacteria on it. I'll try straight 12% in a deli cup for a bit and see how it does with that.
     
  4. akvz

    akvz New Member

    12 hour soak in 12% peroxide... followed by 2 hours in BO... and I got most of the orange to show through on the top incisors and the bottom ones are remaining black.

    [​IMG]

    I just glued them in and left them be at this point, since the teeth seem insistent on staying that colour. Luckily, as they've dried, the black seems to have become more even... it's kind of cool, actually. Just not sure exactly how this happened, or why-- shown in the picture are 2 porcupines, 1 gopher, and 1 beaver done in the same maceration water at the same time in the same temps and run through degreasing together... and none of them have this problem. ???

    I'd love to find out what happened, to see if I could possibly replicate that in a way to keep dark/black teeth ON rodents while keeping them sanitary as well. The black and ivory contrast is very nice.
     
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I will admit that I also like the black teeth but that issue you have is weird. Are the top teeth on that same skull slightly off in color? Maybe some abnormality in the animal itself?
     
  6. akvz

    akvz New Member

    The teeth are a normal muskrat orange, though the bottom teeth are more yellow/pale like the pocket gopher seen. I don't remember the raw skull very well-- just that it was a muskrat and small enough that I hardly defleshed it. I suppose it's possible to be an issue with the individual. The black seems to be below the surface enamel and not on top of it, I'm not sure if that's how the black normally looks on rodent teeth. I didn't pay much attention in the past because it's never been a problem. I have another porcupine in maceration right now I might take a look at more closely.