Do Dogs Lose Baby Teeth: When Will My Dog’s Permanent Teeth Come In?

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58 Natural Balance Dog Food Reviews
58 Natural Balance Dog Food Reviews

When Will My Dog’s Permanent Teeth Come In?

Q: I have a four month old Golden Retriever who, it seems, was born with a mouth full of razor sharp puppy teeth. A lot of people tell me the teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth at three and four months old. This hasn’t happened. When does this normally take place? — Tooth Fairy Troubles in Tucson

Dear Tooth: Puppies do have very sharp teeth, especially when you feel them grabbing at your naked ankles in a friendly game of “look at me.” Just like humans, dogs have two sets of teeth, puppy and adult. The puppy teeth appear at about three weeks old. Because puppies don’t eat a lot of hard food when they are young and still relying on mother’s milk for nutrition, they don’t have any grinding molars.

At around four months of age — and it can vary from breed to breed and even from dog to dog — the 28 puppy teeth are replaced with 42 adult canine teeth, which include the molars. You will see six incisors on the top and bottom (these are the smaller front teeth located between the large fang-like canines). On the other side of the canines (fangs) along each side of the dog’s mouth you have smaller pre-molars for ripping and tearing, and rounding out the line-up are the larger molars in the back for grinding.

Double Teeth

One thing you may not have noticed about your puppy is that the adult teeth may be coming in behind the puppy teeth and you just don’t see them yet. When the adult teeth come in they will push out the little puppy teeth. Sometimes, a puppy tooth will stubbornly stay in place even when the adult tooth is fully emerged behind it. To remedy the situation, you might have to go to the vet and have the baby tooth extracted.

I’ve had puppies who took as long as eight months to lose all their baby teeth. So don’t despair, Mother Nature will soon work her magic and push those razor sharp teeth out. And don’t be surprised if you don’t find them when they fall out. Puppies have a tendency to chew and swallow them without much fanfare.

Puppy Teeth: Everything You Need to Know

There’s enough to think about and keep track of when caring for a puppy—feeding, walking, training, housebreaking (and don’t forget playtime!)—that you might not give their teeth a whole lot of thought. But in their first eight months or so, puppies will develop two sets of teeth, and there’s more to caring for those chompers than just making sure they don’t leave marks on your furniture legs.

Here’s all information you need to know about those cute (and sharp!) little puppy teeth.

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How Many Teeth Do Puppies Have?

In the beginning, none. Like us, dogs are born toothless. Puppies will quickly develop a set of 28 teeth, though, and as adults they’ll have 42.

When Do Puppies Get Their Teeth

“Puppy teeth erupt starting at about 2 weeks of age, and are usually completely in by about 8-10 weeks old,” says Dr. Kris Bannon, veterinarian and owner of Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery of New Mexico. The incisors often come in first, followed by the canine teeth and the premolars, although there can certainly be some normal variation between individuals.

Do Puppies Lose Their Teeth?

Puppies develop and lose a set of “baby” teeth just like humans do. These teeth, sometimes known as “milk teeth” and referred to as “deciduous teeth” by vets, eventually give way to permanent “adult” teeth.

At What Age Do Puppies Lose Their Teeth?

“The first teeth are usually lost at about 4 months of age,” Bannon says. “The last of the baby teeth to fall out are usually the canines, and they are lost at about 6 months old.”

At What Age Do Puppies Get Their Permanent Teeth?

“The permanent teeth start to erupt as soon as the baby teeth start to fall out,” Bannon says, and they come in in the same order as the baby teeth. Dr. Alexander Reiter, head of the Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, says the incisors start to come in at around 2-5 months of age, then the canine teeth at 4-6 months, the premolars at 4-7 months and finally the molars (which only come in as part of the permanent set) at 5-7 months. By the time a dog is 7 or 8 months old, he should have all of his permanent teeth.

How to Care for a Teething Puppy

Dr. Reiter says that the discomfort of puppy teething is often over dramatized. If the puppy is still engaging in normal activities like eating, drinking, socializing, grooming and exploring, then there isn’t really a problem. If the dog isn’t doing some of these things, he says, and the pain or discomfort is affecting his quality of life, then the puppy may need to see the vet.

“There is not much for the owners to do during the transition,” Bannon says. “The best thing is for the owners to supply good, safe chews so that the dog can teethe on appropriate items.” Look for toys that are soft, flexible and bend easily in your hand. “If it is too hard to bend, flex or break, it is too hard to give to the dog,” Bannon says.

What to do When A Puppy Starts Losing His Teeth

Both Bannon and Reiter recommend letting the baby teeth fall out on their own, and advise against trying to pull loose teeth out. The teeth have very long roots, Bannon says, and pulling the teeth can break the root, leading to an infection.

The exception is if a baby tooth is not loose, and the permanent tooth is coming up in the same space. “If the tooth remains in place while the adult tooth is coming in, this causes a disruption in the location of the adult tooth, causing an occlusion problem (a bad bite),” Bannon says. “We also see periodontal disease which occurs very quickly when there is crowding.” In these cases, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to have the baby tooth removed.

How to Take Care of Puppy Teeth

Reiter recommends getting your puppy used to you touching his mouth early on. “Raise their lips and touch their gums and teeth in a slow, playful way,” he says. This will not only make it easier for you to introduce a dental care regimen and recognize any oddities or problems with their teeth or mouths, it’ll also prime the pup for their veterinarian’s oral examinations.

Reiter and Bannon both recommend brushing your dog’s teeth regularly. Reiter says you should use a toothbrush with the softest bristles you can find. Human toothbrushes are okay, and kid’s size brushes are great for small breeds. Brush using just warm water, he says, or a toothpaste made for dogs—toothpastes made for humans shouldn’t be used because dogs don’t rinse and spit like we do, and the fluoride and other ingredients in our toothpaste can harm them.

For dental treats, both vets suggest looking for one accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). “The VOHC is an independent council that reviews studies that products have done to prove their dental claims,” Bannon says. “So if a product says that it’s good for dental health, the VOHC reviews the studies that to prove it. If they have met their claims, they get a VOHC seal of approval.”

Interesting Facts About Puppy Teeth

– While the number of teeth a dog has is pretty consistent across breeds, some breeds and individual dogs may have different numbers of permanent teeth. Reiter says that breeds with shorter snouts, like pugs, sometimes have fewer teeth because their smaller mouths can’t accommodate a full set of 42.

– Dogs are toothier than cats (who have 30 permanent teeth) and humans (who have 32).

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