Canine Tip of the Day: Teeth – how many and what are they for

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Canine Tip of the Day: Teeth – how many and what are they for

By about the age of 7 months, most dogs should have their full set of permanent (adult) teeth.  In some smaller breeds it is quite common for dogs to retain some of the primary (milk) teeth but, if this causes problems for the dog with overcrowding for example, these should be removed by your vet.  A full set of adult teeth should total 42 as follows:

The Upper Jaw –  your dog should normally have:

3 incisors on each side

1 canine tooth on each side

4 premolars on each side

2 molars on each side

The Lower Jaw – your dog should normally have:

3 incisors on each side

1 canine tooth on each side

4 premolars on each side

3 molars on each side

 

Incisors:  These teeth are designed for nibbling and grooming the dog’s fur

Canines:  These teeth are designed for tearing flesh from bone

Premolars & Molars:  These teeth are designed to shear the food swallowable portions

 

It is important to pay attention to your dog’s dental hygiene and ensure that there is no build up of tartar on the tooth which may lead to gum disease (bad breath is often a sign of poor oral hygiene).  Often the diet you choose to feed your dog can play a big part in the health of their teeth – brushing your dog’s teeth is a great way of ensuring these problems do not develop.  If you do notice that your dog developed tartar build up on his teeth, a visit to your vet can determine whether he may need to have this removed with a “scale and polish”!

 

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