Dog Teeth Brushing

The Importance of Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

Brushing your dog’s teeth everyday is one of those things we tend to put aside. Periodontal or Gum disease, one of the most common illnesses, in dogs is the result of a lack of proper dental care. This can be extremely painful. As anyone who’s suffered through a toothache will vouch for! An important part of a preventive dental care program is brushing your dog’s teeth regularly.  Read on to know why you need to make time for this.

Anatomy of Dog Teeth

Diagram of different kinds of dog teeth

Dogs start off with 28 teeth when they are puppies. These teeth are sharp as anyone who’s ever played with a puppy will know. Called ‘milk’ teeth or deciduous teeth they are usually shed when the puppy is around 3-4 months old. Puppy teeth tend to fall out on their own. At times an adult tooth may start growing in the same place. It is important to take care of this.

At around six months puppies would have finished teething. They will now be the proud owners of a set of 42 strong rooted teeth. These consist of:

  • Incisors – A total of 12 (6 in the upper jaw and 6 in the lower) in number. These teeth help tear off meat from bones. Dogs use them in self grooming. These are also the teeth that dogs use to carry things in their mouths.
  • Canines – These pointy teeth are 4 (2 in the upper and 2 in the lower) in number. These teeth, also known as ‘fangs’, help hold on to things.
  • Premolars – They number a total of 16 (8 upper and 8 lower) and take care of the chewing. They help tear meat into smaller pieces.
  • Molars – A total of 10 (6 lower and 4 upper)in number. These are the last to appear and are used to chew heavy stuff like bones or even biscuits.

Premolars and molars are prone to plaque build up. Hence it is important to pay attention to them while thinking about a dental care routine for your dog.
If you’re interested in knowing further about the anatomy of dog teeth do take a look at the following video by dental specialist Jo Banyard.

Dental Diseases in Dogs

Photo of dental disease in dogs. You can see the discolouration of dog teeth here.

Dogs do not grow back teeth that they lose as adults. Hence it is extremely important to pay attention to the health of teeth and gums in your dog. Dogs rarely get cavities. If they do they are treated the same way as human teeth are – through drilling, filling, root canal, capping or extraction.

Signs to Watch Out For:

  • Tartar and Plaque: This is quite common and is visible as a brownish greenish colour on your dog’s teeth.
  • Reddening of gums
  • Swollen/Bleeding Gums
  • Bad Breath
  • Lumps in mouth
  • Blood in water bowls or on toys
  • Chewing on one side of the mouth
  • Not wanting to be touched on the face
  • Swelling in face

Do read this article on Pet WebMD for a more detailed look at gum disease in dogs.

Dog Teeth Brushing: How and How Often

It is extremely vital to take care of your dog’s dental hygiene. This will help in avoiding serious dental illnesses that damage not only teeth but also internal organs. One of the ways to do this is to brush your dog’s teeth on a daily basis. It is recommended that you introduce dogs to teeth brushing as early as possible. Coupled it with professional teeth brushing at your pet groomer’s. Follow this up with regular teeth cleaning at your vet’s. Regular brushing, once a day, will help prevent the buildup of tartar and plaque. It will also help you keep an eye on any changes in your pet’s dental structure so you can catch problems as soon as they appear.

Dog Toothbrush: There are specially designed toothbrushes available for dogs. Otherwise you could use a children’s toothbrush or a finger toothbrush. Please ensure that these toothbrushes have soft bristles. Take a look through some of the best dog toothbrushes of 2019.

Dog Toothpaste: There are dog specific toothpastes that are available in the market. These are safe even when ingested. NEVER use human toothpaste on a dog as fluoride, salt, soda can affect the health of your dog. Look through some of the best dog toothpastes available in the market in 2019.

To help you with this a step by step guide with pictures on how to brush your dog’s teeth. You can also check out this really simple informative guide on dog teeth brushing by White Cross Vets.

Pawpad offers dog teeth brushing with all its grooming packages. Do call 9663077496 to book your appointments.