Structure of Dog Teeth
When cleaning dog teeth, it helps to understand the anatomy.
The more familiar you are with the structure of your own poodle’s teeth, the more quickly you will identify problems if they arise.
This is a good time to get in the habit of examining your dog’s teeth routinely if you don’t already do so.
Puppy “Milk” Teeth
Your puppy’s first set of teeth are called Milk Teeth – so named because he begins teething while he is still nursing from his mother (at about 2-3 weeks).
Milk Teeth appear in this order:
- Incisors – 12 total (6 upper and 6 lower) at about 2-3 weeks
- Canines – 4 total (2 upper and 2 lower) at about 4 weeks
- Premolars – 12 total (6 upper and 6 lower) at about 3-6 weeks
This first set of 28 puppy teeth will have all come through by about 8 weeks of age. Just like with human babies, the teething process can be painful. Your puppy will want to chew on everything with those tiny, sharp teeth and may drool a lot.
Things that may help are:
- Adding ice cubes to drinking water.
- Freezing a wet washcloth (or hand towel for larger breed dogs) and then allowing your puppy to chew on it.
- Freezing diluted chicken bouillon in an ice cube tray and allowing your puppy to chew on the frozen cubes.
- Providing safe chew toys that are too large to swallow.
By the time your puppy is about 4 months old, the pressure from the adult teeth begins to dissolve the roots of the baby teeth and causes them to fall out. You will probably never see baby teeth lying around because your puppy will swallow them as they fall out.
Adult Dog Teeth
At about 4 months of age, your puppy will begin to lose his puppy teeth and replace them with 42 permanent teeth (this number can vary with some breeds of dog) by about 6 or 7 months of age.
This new permanent set of dog teeth will include:
- Incisors – 12 total (6 on top, 6 on the bottom)
- Canines – 4 total (2 on top, 2 on the bottom)
- Premolars – 16 total (8 on top, 8 on the bottom)
- Molars – 10 total (4 on top, 6 on the bottom)
Check out this excellent tutorial on the anatomy of adult dog teeth by veterinary dental specialist Jo Banyard.