The whole tooth

About dog teeth:

Adult dogs have 42 teeth that arrive in two sets like human teeth. The first set — deciduous teeth — has 28 teeth that grow fully by ten weeks of age. These are very sharp to aid the puppy in chewing food as the jaws aren’t as strong at this stage. These teeth slowly become loose and fall off, making way for permanent teeth that grow fully by eight months of age. Adult dogs have 20 teeth on their upper jaw and 22 on the lower one.

Adult dogs have 42 teeth — 20 on the upper jaw and 22 on the lower one. Photo by Jorgen Hendriksen on Unsplash
  • Canines — long and pointed fangs which shred and puncture flesh (Canines are named so for these) and are used to lock the jaws on things
  • Premolars — used for crushing and shearing food. Dogs will often chew on meaty bones with their premolars
  • Molars — used to chew and break down food, especially hard parts of their diet, like bones and hard treats

Managing dental health at home

The path to great teeth for your dog begins at home. Although it is not necessary to brush your puppy’s teeth, you can start getting them accustomed to having their teeth handled and cleaned when they are very young, so that cleaning their teeth is not stressful once they’re older and actually need it. It is widely advised that you brush your dog’s teeth daily once the permanent set comes in (though you can go as low as 1–2 times a week). However, brushing is not the only option to keep those teeth shining. Let’s see what you can do to maintain dental hygiene at home:

All-natural meat chews have enzymes that promote oral health and the scraping of the teeth against the bone removes plaque. Photo by Syed Ahmad on Unsplash

Dental health at the vet:

Ask the vet to check your dog’s teeth at every checkup visit. They can spot subtle signs of dental trouble and begin treating your dog for it before it becomes a severe issue.

Since professional cleaning is done under anesthesia and is an expensive procedure, it is advisable that you manage your dog’s dental health at home regularly. Photo by Ivan Rojas Urrea on Unsplash

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