Taking care of your puppy’s teeth and gums is very important, as about 80 percent of dogs develop some sign of gum disease by the age of three. These signs include loose or discolored teeth, bad breath, swollen gums, receding gum line, and gums that bleed easily. In additional to regular trips to the veterinarian, a great way to help keep your dog’s gums and teeth healthy is by brushing his teeth.
Most dogs will not be immediately comfortable with the idea of having their teeth brushed, so you will need to take a little time to get them used to it. Start by using your finger to gentle massage his gums, getting him used to having your finger in his mouth. You should also let him lick a tiny bit of the dog toothpaste so he’s familiar with the taste. Once he’s fairly comfortable, gently lift up his outer lips and use your finger to start massaging his bottom, top, and front gums in a circular motion.
After a few easy sessions of gum massage, it’s time to start brushing. You will need a pet toothbrush or some gauze to wrap around a finger, and some toothpaste specially designed for dogs. If you use a pet toothbrush, make sure you have one made especially for your dog’s mouth size. Start with just the front teeth and gradually add more teeth until all of them have been brushed. Focus on removing food residue from the outsides of the teeth, because your dog’s tongue can clean the inside surfaces well enough. If at all possible, your dog’s teeth should be brushed daily.