Puppy Teeth- The facts about Milk Teeth and When They Fall Out
puppies are just like humans when it comes to teeth, their ‘puppy teeth’ temporarily of 28 also known as ‘milk teeth’ or ‘deciduous teeth’ fall out and are replaced by their adult teeth, most puppies are born without any teeth but by six months most pups will have a full set of teeth. let’s look more into detail about puppy teething and how long it lasts:
- birth- 2 weeks – most puppies are born without any teeth.
- 2-4 weeks – incisors start to emerge, then canine followed by molar teeth
- 5-8 weeks – all the ‘milk teeth are usually through now and by eight weeks these teeth start to fall out.
- 12-16 weeks – the adult teeth start pushing through, ensure to provide teething toys to help relieve any pain and discomfort
- 6 months + – all 42 adult teeth are usually pushed through at this point
When do puppies start teething?
can you believe your little pup can start getting teeth at just 3 weeks old!! seems so young but at this point, incisors appear, six on the bottom and six on top, premolars 3 on the top and 3 on the bottom and on each side of the mouth and their canine teeth a total of 4, again two on top and two on the bottom starts pushing through the gums. Remember when their teeth start coming through they are very sharp a theory behind this is because they are carnivores so when they try meat for the first time they are able to it eat, as well also learning the basics of bite inhibition. when puppies are teething make sure to have appropriate teething toys located around the house for them to help relieve pain and take their mind of the teething.
How to brush dogs teeth
we all know this is not one of the easiest jobs, but the best time to start this process is when your dog is a puppy, this way they will become accustomed to it and actually enjoy it! regularly brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the best ways to keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy. only brush your dog teeth when they are relaxed and calm, forcing to clean them when they are scared can trigger it as a bad memory and give them a fear of teeth brushing.
Here we have a step by step guide on how to brush your dog’s teeth:
- Make sure you use a dog toothbrush, this is because they have softer bristles, however, if you can’t find one you can use a child toothbrush, finger toothbrush, or gauze around a finger
- Ensure to always use a pet toothpaste and NEVER human toothpaste, salt or baking soda, these products can be harmful to dogs if swallowed. Dog toothpaste has a meat or poultry flavor to help entice the dog to have their teeth cleaned. Give your dog a taste of the toothpaste first before cleaning to introduce them to the taste.
- Gently lift the lip to expose the gums and test the give the test a thorough clean.
- Slowly and with gentle motions brush the teeth and gums
- Clean as much of the outside mouth as possible (most dogs will not let you touch the inside of their teeth)
- Try and clean as far back of the mouth as possible ( the molars ) these are the teeth that tend to get the biggest build-up of tar and old food.
- praise your dog for good behavior and make the experience a positive one each time.
- REMEMBER – Never carry this procedure out if your dog is uncomfortable, scared or does not like it.
When do puppies stop teething?
Usually, most dogs will have a full set of puppy teeth – 42 in total – by the time they reach 6 months plus, teething is a monthly process starting potentially at two weeks and up to 8 months old, this can be very discomforting for your pup during this time and can pick up new habits such as chewing, puppies to relieve the discomfort and pain will find any item to help take the pain away. to stop your furniture being destroyed make sure your dog has teething toys to keep occupied. sometimes during this period dogs can eat less and chew more. Sometimes all their baby teeth don’t always fall out as well and can push the teeth and create too many teeth in the mouth, if all the puppy teeth haven’t fallen out by 8 months then its recommended to have them checked out by your veterinarian where they will have them removed to prevent complications in the future.
symptoms to look for while your dog is teething
- facial swelling and bleeding gums
- Loss of appetite
- broken teeth
- yellow/brown tar tar
- bad breath
- blood in saliva
- rubbing of the face
- not sleeping through the night
if your dog is displaying any of these symptoms while teething then we recommend you get your veterinarian to check them out. it is also advised that your dog has a yearly check-up with your vet to have their teeth polished and clean to help prevent the build-up of tar and other complications happening.
What dogs teeth are for
just like us humans dogs teeth all have a purpose let have a look what each tooth dies and why they need them:
incisors – these teeth are used to pull and scrape the meat from bones, dogs also use these teeth as a tool for grooming themselves and removing dirt from their fur.
Canine teeth – these are used to stab and slash, they are shaped to a point like a dagger to help tear.
carnassial teeth- these have a scissor effect when the teeth pass each other when the mouth closes, this is to help shred meat.
when a dog’s mouth is shut they should be able to close their mouth and have a normal bite, this is essential to a dog’s health as it allows them to eat food normally and carry out every task. however some breeds are prone to underbites, extra teeth and the mouth not closing properly, as they still have the number of teeth all squashed up in a smaller space, this is usually flat-faced breeds, short-nosed, Brachycephalic breeds that suffer from this problem such as:
- french bulldogs
- Boston terriers
- cavalier king Charles spaniel