How to Brush a Small Dog's Back Teeth

Medium
5 - 15 Minutes
2 Week

Introduction

Brushing your small dog's teeth can be challenging enough but getting to his back teeth is even more difficult. With the right motivation and the right toothpaste, you can get your small dog to open wide enough to get those back teeth nice and clean. Maintaining your small dog’s oral health is important for his overall health. Be sure you are brushing all of his teeth, not just the ones up front that are easy to reach, with the toothbrush and some doggie toothpaste. Pry the little guy's mouth open just wide enough to get toothbrush back there and brush those back teeth to keep his mouth, gums and breath healthy.

Dog's Perspective

If your little dog is not used to teeth brushing you may need to practice on the front teeth, which are easy to get to before you get to the back teeth. Once your little dog understands this routine and is used to the rewards after brushing, he should get used to back teeth brushing pretty quickly and easily. Be sure to reward him with a nice tasty treat after every teeth brushing

The Smile Method

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Step
1
Toothbrush
Introduce the toothbrush to your small dog before you begin brushing. Even if he is used to brushing, you’ll want to him to know what is coming each time, so introduce the toothbrush to your small dog by letting him sniff and explore the brush. You can even apply a bit of dog toothpaste and let your small dog lick the toothbrush.
Step
2
Brush
Before getting to the back teeth, brush your small dog’s front teeth. Lift his lips and use circular motions to remove any food and debris from the teeth. Be sure to angle the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to remove plaque build up at the gum line.
Step
3
Back teeth
With one hand over your small dog’s nose, spread his upper lips out, making a smile on his face. This should open his lips to show his back teeth.
Step
4
Fronts
As with the other teeth, brush the front faces of the back teeth using small circular motions and the dog toothpaste. Angle the brush again to work the gumline. The area is important because plaque buildup can cause periodontal disease.
Step
5
Tops and bottoms
You’ll need to gently squeeze your dog’s jawline to get him to open wide enough to reach the toothbrush in to clean the tops of the top and bottom teeth. While inside, be sure to run that toothbrush along the backside of your dog’s back teeth. With some time and training, you can teach your dog to open his jaw to expose his back teeth instead of lifting it open yourself.
Step
6
Treat
Be sure to treat your little guy after a good brushing.
Recommend grooming method?

The Toothbrush Placement Method

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Step
1
Position
Sit in front of your dog or place him on a table and stand in front of him so you can reach his teeth.
Step
2
Toothbrush
Be prepared with a dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste to brush your small dog’s back teeth.
Step
3
Explore
Allow your small dog to explore the toothbrush and toothpaste by sniffing and tasting the brush.
Step
4
Lift
Gently lift the dog’s jaw, opening the mouth just enough to get the toothbrush to the back teeth. You can use one hand to do this or use the brush to leverage the mouth open. Remember to let your dog taste the dog toothpaste so he’s enticed to having it in his mouth.
Step
5
Brush
Brush the top and bottom face or outside of the back teeth first. Angle the toothbrush, if you can, to brush the gums as well. This will remove disease-causing plaque from the gum line. With the mouth open and relaxed, brush the inside of the back teeth. Work around the tops of the teeth, removing any food and debris before working to the inside of the teeth. Brush from side to side and in small circles.
Step
6
Reward
Be sure to give your little guy a treat once brushing is done.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Make these tooth brushing sessions short and simple until your small dog is used to it.
  • You may have to brush the front teeth and the back teeth in different sessions.
  • Never use human toothpaste on your dog’s teeth. Always choose a natural cleaner or a dog toothpaste.
  • Dog toothpaste is usually flavored to help in the brushing process.
  • Baking soda and water work well together as a natural cleaner.
  • You can make your dog smile to clean the face of the back teeth.
  • To get the insides of the teeth, you will need to open your dog’s mouth. This doesn’t need to be a wide open mouth, just enough to get the toothbrush the to back side of those back teeth.
  • Remember to reward teeth brushing with a nice treat. Though this may feel counterintuitive, your dog will eat soon anyway, and giving rewards for tolerating a good oral cleaning is a good habit in helping your dog want to return and training him to handle dental cleanings.
  • Be sure to visit with your veterinarian for regular checkups. Your veterinarian or vet tech should be doing a quick oral health check. They can also schedule a deeper oral cleaning if necessary.

Conclusion

Your small dog’s dental health is related to overall health, so keep those pearly whites clean and shining bright. Don’t forget those back teeth, where much of the food is absorbed into the gumline. Train your small dog the skill of good oral health and keep him yappy for many years to come.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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