It’s not often we look at a carnivorous beast, full view of every sharp tooth in their mouth, and think, ‘aw, what an adorable little baby!’.
Despite their spiky fangs, there’s nothing scary about our furry friends! Their gorgeous smiles never fail to make even our hardest days better.
But have you ever actually stopped to look at their pearly whites, wondering, exactly, just how many they have? Well, look no further, as you’re in the right place.
Today we’re going to be looking at how many teeth your dog has, and how many different types there are altogether.
Let’s Start Counting!
So, let’s begin by discussing the teething process of a dog.
Just like us humans, puppies are born with a set of ‘baby’ teeth – medically known as deciduous or primary teeth.
Your pup will have twenty eight baby teeth, which will grow roughly around two weeks to a month after birth.
Until then, your fur baby will be completely gummy! They will try and nip at anything they can get their mouth on at this stage, but due to having no teeth, their attempts will be futile. It’s adorable!
Just like human babies, puppies will start chewing most objects as their first set of teeth begin growing as part of their teething process, which can be quite uncomfortable.
There’s no need to worry, however: just make sure they’re provided with plenty of chew toys to make their experience more bearable (and to ensure you don’t end up with multiple pairs of chewed-up slippers… although, this will probably happen regardless).
It will also begin to hurt you at this stage if they attempt to use you as their chew toy – which they most definitely will – although it will most likely just feel like a small scratch.
You should train your puppy right away to not bite other people, even if they are just looking for anything and everything to soothe their teething gums.
They will slowly begin to lose their deciduous tusks when they are roughly two months old. By the four month mark your puppy’s teeth will start falling out quicker, and their permanent set will begin erupting through almost immediately afterwards.
By six months old, your doggy’s adult teeth should have completely grown in, and they will be left with forty two permanent nashers.
How Many Types?
Again, just like us humans, dogs also have four different types of teeth, rather than all forty two fangs looking exactly the same and serving the same purpose.
Their differently-shaped teeth will take on independent roles to assist a dog while chewing and eating.
The incisors, otherwise known as the front teeth, are the smallest teeth in your dog’s mouth. Their job is to grasp onto objects to hold in their mouths, pulling these objects in.
While they are pretty blunt and won’t cause much damage alone, they are also used to nip and bite if needed. They can also be used for grooming.
Once completely grown through, your dog should have twelve incisors: six in their top jaw, six in their bottom.
Next up, we have the sharpest, scariest-looking teeth in your doggy’s mouth: the canines. These are the ones that look like fangs, poking through next to their incisors.
They are slightly curved and much longer than the other teeth, primarily used to tear through whatever they are biting on. They will also be used for gripping onto objects.
Your dog should have only four canines, bordering the incisors: two in their top jaw and two in their bottom.
Just behind the canines, at the side of their mouths, you will find your dog’s premolars. These are considerably blunter than the canines, and are used to grind and mash up their food.
If your furry friend appears to be chewing something with the side of their mouth, they will be using their premolars.
Your pet will have more premolars than any other kind of tooth: sixteen altogether. There should be eight in their lower jaw, and eight in their top.
Finally, right at the very back of the jaw, you will find your dog’s molars. These appear to be fairly similar to your pet’s premolars, with the main difference being that they are considerably larger.
These blunt, flat teeth will be used for chewing and grinding up tougher foods into small pieces, making them easier to swallow.
There will most likely be ten molars in your pet’s jaw: four at the top and six at the bottom.
Dental Health For Dogs
While it is completely normal for your fur baby to lose their teeth during their first six months, you should be wary if any fall out later on in their lives.
Adult teeth should remain in their jaws, and if you notice any have fallen out, you should contact your veterinarian immediately!
This may be a sign of several health issues, such as tooth decay or periodontal disease.
You can provide your pet with dental health care in many ways: brushing their teeth is very important, although note that you should never use your own human toothpaste while brushing your dog’s teeth, as most toothpastes contain ingredients that can be extremely toxic if consumed by dogs.
You may also buy dental chew toys to keep your pet’s teeth strong and healthy.
It is so, so important that you protect your dog’s teeth by providing consistent dental healthcare, as forgetting to do so may result in a decaying tooth.
This will be very uncomfortable and painful for your furry friend, and could even result in a life-threatening infection.
Brushing their teeth isn’t very time consuming, so you should make sure to do so at least once a day – even twice if possible!
Your dog may also lose a tooth through trauma, although this will be unlikely if their teeth are strong and healthy.
It is extremely important to keep track of any lost teeth, and in those cases, you must report them to your veterinarian as soon as you can.
So, There We Have It!
As a fully-grown dog, your pet should have forty two teeth in total: twelve incisors, four canines, sixteen premolars, and ten molars. If you notice any missing teeth, make sure to inform your veterinarian!
Don’t forget to keep on top of your doggy’s hygiene by brushing their teeth often, limiting the risk of missing fangs and painful infections.