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Terrrier dog with a big smile.
February is
National
Dental Health Month!

Sparkling
Smiles
for Dogs

Fido facts
A puppy is born without teeth. When the pup is three to four weeks old, 28 teeth will break through the gums so the puppy will be able to eat solid food.

Fido's Fabulous Dog Facts

Your dog's teeth need care and cleaning just like your own teeth do. If you take care of your dog's teeth, he will have a beautiful smile and sweet-smelling breath!

Dogs whose teeth are neglected can develop tartar and plaque. Tartar and plaque cause cavities and decay. Your dog might have to have surgery and have teeth pulled.

 

Dog with big smile and long tongue.

Puppy bulldog.
At four months of age, your dog's permanent teeth will begin to come in. He will soon have 42 brand new teeth! There are things you can do now to help your puppy learn to have his teeth brushed. Get your puppy used to have his mouth opened. Run your finger along his gums. You might even touch his teeth with a toothbrush just for practice.

 

When your dog is older, he might surprise you by brushing his own teeth one day.

He knows that brushing his teeth will keep his mouth healthy and his breath fresh.

But not all dogs can brush their own teeth. They need your help.

Sunny brushing teeth

 

What you can do:

Brown dog showing teeth.

1. Ask your parents to check your dog's teeth every month.

2. Ask your parents to brush your dog's teeth with a toothbrush and special toothpaste for dogs.

Are you old enough to brush your dog's teeth? Ask your parents if you can help with this important job.

Paws

 

Here's how you can get your dog ready to have his teeth brushed.

Rottweiler pup.

Begin when your dog is very young. Don't be too serious - make it fun.

1. Don't use a toothbrush at first. Dip your finger in something good like soup or doggie toothpaste and then rub your finger along his teeth. Rub it against his gums. Only do this for a minute or two. Then stop and praise your dog.

2. Do this every day or two until your pup is comfortable with you touching his mouth and teeth.

3. Later, if you want, you can wrap a piece of gauze around your finger to make it feel a little different and rub that against his teeth. After awhile, you will feel comfortable enough to put a toothbrush into your dog's mouth.

Paws

 

What to use when you brush your dog's teeth:
Toothbrush

Use a soft toothbrush that is the right size for your dog's mouth. You can buy a dog toothbrush at a pet store. Sometimes a toothbrush made for people will work, too. Ask your vet for a recommendation.

You should buy special toothpaste for dogs. Don't use people toothpaste because it can upset your dog's tummy. Buy dog toothpaste at the pet store or from your vet.

Toothpaste

 With a toothbrush, brush your dog's side teeth. Most dogs like the taste of the toothpaste. Brushing your dog's teeth once or twice a week will help keep his mouth clean and healthy.

 

At 4-8 weeks of age, a puppy's mouth will get 28 baby teeth. At 4-7 months of age, the baby teeth fall out and are replaced with 42 permanent adult teeth.
Fido's Fabulous Dog Facts

 

 
Bulldog with underbite.

Tooth and Gum Problems:
Ask your parents to call your vet if your dog has any of these problems:

Broken teeth
Inflamed gums
Pawing at mouth or face
Bad breath all of the time
Change in eating habits or chewing
Yellow or brown tartar buildup on teeth.

 

VIDEOS!

Want to see how our Bonnie learned to like a toothbrush? Click here!

Click here to see another video from Drs. Foster and Smith!

 

Cody has shiny teeth.

 

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How To Love Your Dog...A Kid's Guide to Dog Care
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