Posted 45d ago
At TeamDogs we love a doggy smile but chances are you’ve probably never seen your pup’s full set of teeth. As it turns out, dogs’ teeth are built very similar to human teeth but canines (excuse the pun) have a lot more teeth than us.
Dogs have two sets of teeth in their lifetime, those being their puppy teeth and a set of permanent teeth also known as secondary teeth.
Holly Barker, a nutritionist at VetChef, says adult dogs have a whopping 42 teeth, while puppies have 28. These deciduous teeth usually fall out at the age of four to six months.
Some breeds are more prone to retain their puppy teeth, such as chihuahuas and dachshunds.
In contrast, human adults have 32 teeth – 12 more than in the baby set.
How strong are dogs’ teeth?
Canine teeth evolved to crunch, rip and tear things such as their food. They are likely to decay and plaque just as ours are. The teeth are built the same way ours are, but their shape and deep roots, especially of the canine teeth, means that they distribute force more effectively. They need to as their jaws are very powerful and capable of breaking bones.
How to keep dogs’ teeth healthy
- Encourage safe chewing using long lasting natural chews.
- Provide plenty of fresh water.
- Feed hot food at the same temperature as a human would eat as this helps soften the plaque.
- Adding a seaweed based dental supplement can also help reduce plaque.
- Don’t feed starchy food and treats.
- Brush your dog’s teeth.
Next time your dog smiles take a closer look (Image: Mario Forcherio/ Getty)
Types of dog teeth
Incisors are the front teeth. These teeth are used for nipping and biting, scraping meat off a bone, and grooming. Most adult dogs have 12 incisors – six on the top and six on the bottom.
Next to the incisors are the long pointed teeth known as the canines. Dogs use these teeth for shredding and tearing meat. They also bite and lock onto something your dog wants to hold onto, like a bone or chew toy. There are four canines, two on top and two on bottom.
Premolars come in behind the canines. These are sharp teeth used to chew and shear food. If you notice your dog chewing something on the side of his mouth, he’s probably using his premolars. There are 16 premolars in most adult dogs’ mouths, eight in both the top and bottom.
In the very back of the mouth are the molars. These flat, strong teeth grind and chew more hearty foods. You’ll see four molars on top and six molars on the bottom in most adult dog mouths.
This brings a total of 42 teeth in total.
Keep up to date with TeamDogs news by following our social pages. As well as videos, tips and advice, we’ll also be sharing your fabulous photos of your very best pals so follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.