Like humans, dogs lose their first set of teeth, which are replaced by larger adult teeth. This is a relatively quick process that happens in the first few months of life.
While typically, there isn’t much an owner can do during this time, it’s essential to learn about a puppy’s baby teeth so you can provide proper dental care and alleviate any discomfort. It can also help you to know what to look for in the unlikely event that a vet is needed to check on their teeth.
Explore the Furry Babies Aurora guide to puppies and their teeth.
When Do Puppies Get Their Teeth?
Puppies are born without teeth, but 28 primary teeth erupt within the first few weeks of their life. These teeth are sometimes known as needle or milk teeth, but your vet may refer to them as deciduous teeth. Permanent adult teeth will eventually replace them.
Puppies start developing teeth at about two weeks old and usually have complete dentition by about eight to ten weeks old. The incisors, the small teeth at the front, often erupt first, then the premolars and the canines, but this can vary from puppy to puppy. Puppies do not have any molars. They will appear along with the adult teeth.
How to Take Care of Puppy Teeth
To help keep a puppy’s teeth clean and healthy and prevent periodontal disease, it’s essential to take care of them properly at all stages. Getting your puppy used to people touching its mouth and teeth from an early age is vital to develop healthy dental care habits. In a slow, playful way, touch their gums, teeth, lips, and tongue.
Doing so early eases their fear and helps them become accustomed to people around sensitive areas. It also helps familiarize you with their mouth, allowing you to recognize any problems or oddities that require vet care.
To help keep teeth clean, introduce teeth brushing by brushing with a soft-bristled pet toothbrush or finger brush with pet-appropriate toothpaste. Brushing can help remove stuck food and bacteria that can form on the teeth and cause decay and gum disease.
When Do Puppies Lose Their Baby Teeth?
Puppies lose their baby teeth in the same way as humans. Baby teeth begin to fall out at about three months old. The last teeth to fall out are typically the canines, which fall out at about six months old. A typical puppy teething timeline is:
• Incisors: 3 to 5 months old
• Canines: 5 to 6 months old
• Premolars: 4 to 6 months old
• Molars: 4 to 7 months old
It’s important to remember that some small and short-nosed breeds, such as Pugs, Boxers, and Bulldogs, may retain some of the baby teeth. Your vet can determine if this is normal or if a tooth extraction is necessary to help the process.
When Do Puppies Get Permanent Teeth?
The permanent adult teeth grow in at the same time the baby teeth fall out. Some permanent teeth begin to appear as early as three months but will vary significantly with each puppy. When a puppy is seven or eight months old, it should have all 42 teeth.
How to Take Care of Your Teething Puppy
When puppies teethe, they chew to relieve discomfort. A soft, squishy chew toy can alleviate pain and keep your puppy chewing on appropriate things instead of your furniture, kids’ toys, or shoes. Look for flexible and soft toys that flex in your hand. Toys that can’t flex or bend in your hand are too hard for your puppy’s mouth.
If your puppy continues participating in everyday activities like exploring, socializing, drinking, and eating, then the discomfort isn’t anything to worry about. If your puppy is no longer doing these normal things, the vet can determine if there is an underlying issue.
There’s little else owners can do to help this transition. It’s a good idea to avoid trying to wiggle or pull out any loose teeth and let them fall out naturally. Dog teeth have long roots; pulling teeth may break its root, causing a piece of the root or tooth to remain in the gums, causing an infection.
That being said, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on how the teeth are coming in. If baby teeth stay in place as the new tooth grows in, this disrupts the adult tooth’s location. This can lead to tooth misalignment, which leads to problems closing the mouth, eating, and drinking. If you think there is an issue with a baby tooth or the new tooth coming in, you should talk to your vet.
Learn More About Puppies at Furry Babies Aurora, IL
If you’re looking for a puppy in Aurora, Illinois, check out our available puppies. Our staff of puppy experts can help you research puppies and learn about each stage of your puppy’s development to help you raise a healthy, happy dog. Contact one of our counselors or explore our list of available puppies to find the perfect puppy for you and your family.