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Pooch Picks – Canines’ Canines
By Tania Marie de Saram
All dogs are omnivores, which means they survive on both plant and animal matter, and their teeth reflect this. Puppies are born with 28 milk teeth; these begin to come through around two weeks after birth and are fully developed by the time they are ten weeks old. The teeth of those little ones can be notoriously sharp! This is because their young jaws are not so strong, and they need some help to eat solid food and chew up everything in sight.
Just like hoomans, milk teeth fall out in favour of adult, permanent teeth, and this starts to happen around the four-month mark, starting with the incisors, then followed by the canines a month later, and finally the premolars. When the new premolars and molars come in by eight months of age, your furry friend will have his full set of 42 adult teeth.
Of these, 12 are incisors, found at the front of his mouth, and used for tearing. Next in line are the four canines, with their characteristic ‘fang’ appearance: these assist pooches with puncturing and holding. Along the sides are 16 premolars, which have a shearing action, and finally at the back are ten molars that grind food, which are unusual in that they have unequal amounts on the top and bottom of the jaw (four and six, respectively).
Dental hygiene is an essential part of canine wellbeing; we encourage daily brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste. However, you should never use any products that are intended for human use as fluoride and xylitol, that are often present, can be toxic if consumed. ❤