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All About Dog Teeth

April 25, 2020

Have you always wondered about your puppies’ teeth? How about your adult dog and how to make sure that they have the right at-home dental care? Here are 5 interesting facts about doggy teeth, from puppies to adults.

Fact 1: Puppies have 28 deciduous teeth. Deciduous teeth, or milk teeth, are the first set of teeth that puppies get. These teeth start to erupt (or grow in) at around 3 to 5 weeks of age. After about 4 to 5 months, they start losing their deciduous teeth and their adult teeth start to grow in.

Fact 2: Once the deciduous teeth start to fall out (don’t freak out, this is normal!), their adult teeth start coming in As the dog gets bigger their mouths will start to grow more as well. By the time all of their adult teeth have grown in, adult dogs will now have 42 permanent teeth. This transition from milk teeth to adult teeth is pretty rapid and takes only a few weeks.

Fact 3: While adult humans have 32 teeth, adult dogs have 42 teeth and they use them differently than humans. The chemical structure and the makeup of dogs’ teeth are similar to humans, how they use them is where the biggest difference lies. Their pointy canines are used for ripping, grabbing, and defense. Further back in a dog’s mouth, the molars are used for slicing and shearing their food whereas, in humans, our molars are mainly used for grinding our food.

Fact 4: Cavities are a real pain for humans, but for dogs, they are quite rare. Making sure that you provide the right foods and regular dental care, your pooch will rarely have any issues with periodontal disease. That’s mainly due to the species of bacteria in a dog’s mouth. Since bacteria loves sugar, as do us humans, and our bacterial makeup in our mouths are different than dogs, dogs don’t get cavities. However, that doesn’t mean that you can ignore your dog’s mouth.

Here are some signs that you have some dental problems in your dog’s teeth that you should look out for. 

  • Red gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Plaque
  • Bad breath
  • Blood in water or food bowl
  • Dropping food while eating
  • Facial swelling
  • Rubbing their face with their paws or on the floor

If you see any of these symptoms, make sure to call your vet right away and make a dental appointment for them.

Fact 5: Doggy toothpaste? Really? Yes, really and it should be a part of your dog’s regular dental routine. Just don’t use human toothpaste, please. Why? When was the last time you saw your dog spit something out that they put in their mouth? You can’t teach Fido to swish, rinse, and spit, so there is special toothpaste just for pets.

Even though there are toothbrushes made for pets, any small, soft-bristled toothbrush will do just the trick Make sure that it will fit between your dog’s teeth and his cheek. Brush at least once a day and change the toothbrush every 3 months or whenever the bristles look like they have had better days. 

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