TAIPEI – Tuan Tuan that was gifted to Taiwan by China has become the world’s first giant panda to receive an orthodontic brace after a dental surgery, the island’s state-run media CNA reported on Monday.
The surgery was performed successfully on Sunday to repair the panda’s upper left canine tooth, which was found heavily damaged, the news agency reported.
The tooth was covered with a brace to minimize a risk of infection and allow it to heal so that Tuan Tuan could continue eating bamboo, said Taipei zookeeper Tsao Hsien-shao.
The titanium brace was designed specially, keeping in mind the dietary habits of giant pandas, like Tuan Tuan, who eat bamboo leaves and stems and chew them with their canine teeth.
On Dec. 12, after noticing Tuan Tuan’s strange eating behavior, it was found that his upper left canine was fractured, bleeding and the pulp cavity exposed.
After a temporary treatment, surgery was done and a titanium brace was placed that can be seen when the panda smiles.