Health Topics

Dental Care for Your Puppy

Preventative care is the most important aspect of good oral hygiene in your puppy. Brushing is a good start and is a relatively simple task you can begin with your new puppy.

Puppies have 28 deciduous (baby) teeth which begin to be replaced by adult teeth at around 14 weeks of age. The full set of 42 adult teeth are usually completely erupted by about 7 months of age. Dental care should start as early as six weeks of age.

To clean the teeth, the lips should be lifted to expose all of the teeth. Start by using a soft cloth or Q-tip and graduate to using a softened angled brush or a finger toothbrush. A dog toothpaste should also be used which has a pleasurable taste (mint, poultry, beef or malt) and is safe to swallow. The teeth should be brushed daily so tartar does not accumulate.

If brushing cannot be done everyday, other products can be used to help. CET chews can be fed once daily. Chew toys such as nylabones or gumabones may be used when your puppy becomes a healthy adult. These products are helpful in removing plaque above the gum line. Ask your veterinary staff about these items.

Without regular dental home care, periodontal disease or tartar buildup will develop. Therefore, a professional dental cleaning may be recommended.