How to Brush a Dog's Teeth With Toothpaste

  • Home >
  • Grooming >
  • How to Brush a Dog's Teeth With Toothpaste
Medium
10 - 25 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

Periodontitis, or the inflammation of the gums, is a dental disease which can cause enormous problems with your dog's teeth, gums, and bones. If you're not taking care of your dog's teeth and brushing them consistently or having your vet tech care for your dog's teeth on a regular basis, he could eventually lose his teeth, develop infections in his gums, and deal with bone loss in his jaw bones. Brushing your dog's teeth is not just about removing tartar and plaque and getting rid of dog breath, it is also about your dog's overall health. Training your dog to brush his teeth makes it much easier. You can get your dog used to the feel of the toothbrush, the taste of the dog toothpaste, and you playing around in his mouth by repeating the process often and brushing as fast as you can.

Dog's Perspective

If your dog is not used to having his teeth brushed he may be a little apprehensive about you poking around inside his mouth with a big plastic tool. When you are not brushing your dog's teeth, give him lots of rewards such as treats that are used to help clean teeth. Make your dog's teeth cleaning sessions short at first, cleaning only a quarter of his teeth at a time until he's used to what it feels like to have the toothpaste and a toothbrush in his mouth. Give him lots of verbal praise and attention and, of course, after brushing offer a tasty treat to reward him for patience and tolerance.

The Quick and Easy Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Quiet place
Choose a quiet place to brush your dog's teeth. Your dog needs to be calm and tired. After exercise or at the end of the day might be the best time to brush your dog's teeth. Be sure there are no distractions and keep your dog calm.
Step
2
Toothbrush
Use a toothbrush specifically for dogs with a long curved handle.
Step
3
Play with mouth
If your dog is not used to having his teeth brushed, you may want to introduce a toothbrush or use your fingers to get him used to having something in his mouth. Play with his gums, lips, and put your fingers in his mouth if he needs some time getting used to the process.
Step
4
Toothpaste
Place a small amount of toothpaste on your dog’s toothbrush and open your dog’s mouth. If you start on his upper teeth, you can pull his upper lips up to get to his teeth. To get to his bottom teeth, you may need to open his jaw a bit.
Step
5
Brushing
Work the toothpaste along the teeth and gums getting off any food particles and plaque. Working the gum line with the brush angled will help get tartar out of the gums.
Step
6
Reward
Be sure to give your dog a nice reward once you are done.
Step
7
Sessions
Until your dog is used to a good regular brushing, you may need to brush in small sessions working on only a few teeth at a time.
Recommend grooming method?

The Using Fingers Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Introduce fingers
Add some toothpaste to your index finger and let your dog sniff it. Many dog toothpastes contain flavoring to entice your dog’s senses.
Step
2
Rub
Rub the toothpaste along your dog’s teeth and gums, working it onto the surface.
Step
3
Repeat
Repeat this with your dog for several days until he is used to your fingers and the movement over his teeth. Once he is used to brushing, you should be able to introduce a toothbrush. A toothbrush will give you more cleaning power.
Step
4
Toothbrush
With a small amount of dog toothpaste on the brush, run the toothbrush over your dog’s teeth and gums.
Step
5
Top and bottom
Try to brush each tooth and angle the toothbrush to work the gumline. This is where bacteria and plaque will cause damage. You may need to brush a few teeth at a time and do additional teeth on the next session.
Step
6
Reward
Give your pup a reward for working hard on his oral health. In between brushings, have your dog chew on dental cleaning treats to work off any hard tartar until his next brushing.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Do not use human toothpaste on your dog’s teeth. Fluoride is poisonous for dogs.
  • Using a double-headed dog toothbrush and brushing at a 45-degree angle will help remove the tartar and plaque at the gum line.
  • Caring for your dog's teeth is important for your dog's overall health not just for his oral health. Periodontal disease can cause infections throughout your dog's body that can affect your dog’s major organs--not just his gums and teeth.
  •  Dog toothpaste you can find at your veterinarian's office or in a pet store often tastes like beef or something delicious your dog will love.
  •  When you are teaching your dog to let you brush his teeth, you may need to work on a few at a time.
  •  Brushing your dog's teeth, for the first few times at least, is much easier when your dog is sleepy than when he's excited. Try to do these brushings at night time before bed or after extensive exercise.
  • If your dog is irritated with you during the teeth brushing process, take a break and come back to it. You don't want him to become upset and not want you in his mouth at all.

Conclusion

Pearly whites aren’t just for humans. Give your dog nice healthy chompers while helping him maintain great overall health as well. It might take some time, but with a healthy mouth, your pup will be thanking you for the gift of a sparkling smile. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!