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Milk teeth in dogs: explanations and precautions

As is the case with human puppies, puppies have milk teeth which, once they have fallen out, are replaced by permanent teeth. The owner must take care of his dog's teeth as soon as possible because it's essential for him to remain in good health.

When the puppy's milk teeth appear

A puppy's milk teeth, or deciduous teeth, begin to appear as early as three weeks after birth. It usually takes about 20 days for all the other teeth to come in. The puppy is therefore about 6 weeks old when he has his 28 provisional, very pointed quenches - which, some time later, allows the nursing bitch to perceive that it is time to wean her puppies. The puppy only keeps his milk teeth for a short time, except for the first premolars which he keeps throughout his life, but which only grow at the age of 5 months.

It should be noted, however, that depending on the breed, a puppy can have up to 32 milk teeth.

My puppy keeps biting: is it because of his milk teeth?

Sometimes a puppy may want to chew on everything under his nose because his jaws feel funny, and sometimes even a little sore. But many puppies don't need to chew when their decidual teeth come in and then fall out to make room for adult teeth.

It's very important for the owner to react if the puppy has a tendency to get into a bit of a biting habit. When this attitude is excessive, it has nothing to do with his teeth. It's a behavioral problem that should be stopped as soon as possible.

In order to get things back to normal, the animal must absolutely be taken in hand by a dog trainer, because unwanted biting will not disappear by itself. On the contrary, they will intensify and turn into real bites, and when the puppy becomes an adult, it could be very difficult to manage, even dangerous. A dog should not bite, and the owner is responsible for his pet's behavior.

Replacement of deciduous teeth by permanent teeth in dogs

Decidual teeth start to fall out at the age of 4 months and are quickly replaced by permanent teeth. In general, the 7-month-old dog is fully equipped with adult teeth. The fall of the milk teeth and their replacement by the permanent teeth always take place in the same way.

For a long time, the oral examination of the animal allowed a veterinarian to know its real age, a very useful way for people who wanted to adopt a found dog. However, in the last few decades, the diet of these animals has changed a lot, so that their teeth do not evolve or wear in the same way. It is therefore difficult today to determine their age as precisely by simply examining their teeth. It is less and less practiced.

Nevertheless, the evolution of the puppy's teeth has not changed over the years and goes as follows.
  • Replacement of the central incisors or claws at 4 months,
  • Replacement of the other incisors (middle and corners) at 4 ½ months,
  • Replacement of the canines at 5 months,
  • Replacement of the carnassials and post-carnassials (molars) between 6 and 7 months.
The adult dog has 42 permanent teeth.

Dental hygiene of the puppy and the dog

It is from his youngest age that the animal must benefit from a good oral hygiene. This means that it starts when he has only milk teeth. It is fundamental for his general health because many bacteria accumulate every day under the dental plaque and can cause serious pathologies in different organs.

The dog's owner must therefore do everything possible to fight tartar. He can brush his little companion's teeth with a specific fingernail or an adapted brush and a special dog toothpaste. You can buy a toothbrush kit for dogs in pharmacies or pet stores. So that the animal accepts this type of attention, we start as soon as possible by lifting its lips, then we gradually open its mouth and finally we gently brush its teeth, internal and external face. This learning process only lasts a week, after which brushing is easier and care, if necessary, is more easily applied.

This regular brushing does not exempt you from having a scaling done by a veterinarian specialized in dentistry. You should also ask for a check-up every 6 months. With such attention, the dog will be better protected against the risks of loosening, cavities, gum infections, oral ulcers, abscesses, bad breath, and falling teeth. Finally, it is necessary to give your dog toys specially designed to clean his teeth and fight against tartar.