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How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have? Doggy Dental Care and Tooth Count Guide (2024)

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how many teeth do dogs haveYou’ll be glad to know the average adult dog has 42 permanent teeth!

Let’s break it down: 12 incisors for tearing meat and grooming, 4 canines for puncturing and gripping, 16 premolars for shearing and grinding, and 10 molars solely for grinding and chewing. Pretty impressive dental arsenal, right?

But don’t worry, your pup starts with just 28 puppy teeth that eventually fall out during the teething process.

Proper dental care is key to preventing issues like gum disease or premature tooth loss. Stick around to learn some easy tips for keeping those pearly whites in tip-top shape.

Key Takeaways

  • Sit tight, pup parents! Your furry pal starts with a sweet set of 28 puppy teeth that’ll fall out like leaves in autumn – making way for a mighty 42 permanent chompers! It’s like trading in their baby shoes for some fresh kicks.
  • Don’t let those pearly whites turn into a dental disaster! Regular brushing, tasty dental treats, and professional cleanings will keep their smile bright and prevent any painful tooth troubles. After all, nobody wants to deal with a grumpy pup holding a grudge over gum disease.
  • Those 42 teeth aren’t just for show – they’re a well-oiled machine! With 12 incisors for tearing into treats, 4 canines for crunching bones, 16 premolars for shredding snacks, and 10 molars for grinding up kibble, your pup’s mouth is a force to be reckoned with.
  • Losing teeth as an adult dog isn’t just an inconvenience; it can lead to a world of hurt. Infection, eating difficulties, and weight loss can all stem from those missing chompers. So stay on top of their dental hygiene – their wagging tail (and your sanity) will thank you!

How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have?

How many teeth do dogs have? Adult dogs have 42 permanent teeth, consisting of 12 incisors, 4 canines, 16 premolars, and 10 molars. Puppies initially have 28 temporary teeth that are gradually replaced by their permanent adult teeth.

Dog Tooth Anatomy

Dog Tooth Anatomy
Let’s start by examining the four main types of teeth in a dog’s mouth: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Each tooth type serves a specific function, from tearing and shredding food to grinding and chewing it properly.


Your pup’s incisors are the small, flat teeth at the front—six on each jaw. These slim, chisel-shaped nibbles tear meat and help groom. As puppies, incisors erupt first around 3-4 weeks, growing fully by 8 weeks.


Moving on to canines, your pup has 4 total – used for tearing and puncturing. As they develop, watch for:

  1. Proper eruption
  2. Alignment issues
  3. Retained puppy canines
  4. Any trauma or disease

Healthy canines help dogs grip toys and chew properly.


You’ll notice your pup has 16 premolars – eight on each jaw. These powerhouses shear and grind food with their ridged, multi-cusped shape. Essential for breaking down kibble and treats, premolars are pivotal for doggy dental health. Any issues like decay or overcrowding may require premolar extraction.


Your dog’s 10 molars are used for grinding and chewing food. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Last to erupt, around 5-8 months
  • Play a pivotal role in dental hygiene
  • Prone to tartar buildup without proper care
  • Regular brushing prevents tooth decay
  • Professional cleanings remove hardened plaque

Puppy Teeth

Puppy Teeth
Puppies are born with a set of 28 deciduous (puppy) teeth that begin to erupt around 2 weeks of age. These sharp little puppy teeth will eventually fall out between 3-7 months as the permanent adult teeth start coming in.

Number of Teeth

Your puppy has 28 little teeth that start sprouting at around 2 weeks old. These "deciduous" or baby teeth allow pups to chew solid food, but they’ll fall out as adult teeth come in. Count on your vet using dental radiographs to confirm no puppy teeth get retained.

Tooth Eruption Timeline

You’ll notice your puppy’s teeth start erupting around 2 weeks old. By 8-10 weeks, all 28 puppy teeth emerge, including incisors, canines, and premolars. These tiny, razor-sharp milk teeth allow puppies to change from their mother’s milk to solid food. However, this tooth growth is just temporary.

Puppy Tooth Loss

Your pup’s puppy teeth will start falling out around 3-4 months old as their adult teeth grow in. This rapid tooth replacement leads to early tooth problems if those baby teeth don’t come out properly. Retained puppy teeth require extraction by your vet to prevent genetic tooth issues down the line.

Adult Dog Teeth

Adult Dog Teeth
Adult dogs have 42 permanent teeth, with 20 teeth in the upper jaw (maxilla) and 22 teeth in the lower jaw (mandible). The tooth replacement process starts around 4 months of age, with the incisors falling out first, followed by the canines around 5-6 months, and the premolars and molars coming in between 5-8 months.

Number of Permanent Teeth

As an adult dog, your furry friend has a grand total of 42 permanent teeth.

These mighty chompers come in with their own timeline. The incisors and canines erupt first around 4-6 months. This is followed by the premolars and molars between 5-8 months.

With this impressive adult tooth count, you can rest assured your pup is equipped for all their chewing, tearing, and grinding needs.

Tooth Replacement Process

You’ll notice your pup’s baby teeth falling out around 4-6 months. Don’t worry, it’s a natural process as the permanent teeth start erupting.

The incisors are the first to go, followed by canines, premolars, and molars.

If any puppy teeth linger, your vet may recommend extraction to prevent issues with the adult teeth coming in properly.

Premature tooth loss could signal an underlying problem, so have your vet check it out.

Dental Health Importance

Dental Health Importance
Maintaining good dental hygiene for your dog is essential. Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in adult dogs. It can lead to painful tooth loss, infection, and other health issues.

Taking preventive measures like regular brushing, providing dental chews and treats, and scheduling professional cleanings with your veterinarian can effectively protect your canine companion’s teeth and overall wellbeing.

Periodontal Disease

You can’t afford to ignore periodontal disease in dogs – a nasty gum infection that, left untreated, leads to tooth loss and other health issues. Don’t wait until your pup’s breath knocks you off your feet! Regular dental checkups are essential for detecting and treating gum disease early on. If it progresses, periodontal treatment may involve:

  • Scaling to remove tartar buildup
  • Antibiotics for infection control
  • Tooth extraction for severe cases

Stay on top of your dog’s dental hygiene – their smile is worth it!

Tooth Loss Prevention

Be wary of retained deciduous teeth, a genetic issue where baby teeth don’t fall out properly.

Preventing tooth loss is essential for your dog’s health. Advanced dental disease can also lead to adult tooth loss, requiring root canal procedures or oral surgery options like extractions.

Regular dental X-rays allow your vet to monitor issues and intervene early, avoiding painful tooth loss.

Maintaining Dental Hygiene

Maintaining Dental Hygiene
To keep your dog’s teeth healthy and clean, establish a regular brushing routine using a soft-bristled toothbrush and dog-safe toothpaste. Additionally, provide dental treats and chews that help scrape away plaque and tartar buildup, and schedule professional cleanings with your veterinarian as recommended.

Brushing Techniques

You should brush your pup’s teeth regularly, at least two to three times per week. Use vet-approved enzymatic toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush designed for dogs. Introduce brushing gradually, making it a positive experience with praise and treats. For tough-to-reach areas, consider adding a dental rinse to their drinking water.

Dental Treats and Chews

In addition to brushing, you can use dental chews and treats to help maintain your dog’s oral hygiene. Look for products with:

  • Natural, digestible ingredients
  • Abrasive textures that scrub plaque
  • Enzymatic substances that fight tartar buildup

Dental treats are a tasty way to supplement brushing, but don’t substitute professional cleanings.

Professional Cleanings

You know regular dental cleanings are essential for your pup’s oral health. Professional cleanings involve dental anesthesia for a thorough cleaning, removing built-up plaque and tartar to prevent gum inflammation and tooth decay. In some cases, root canals or tooth extractions may be necessary.

It’s Worth It For Their Smile
Healthier Gums Fresher Breath
Brighter Teeth Pain Prevention
Longer Lifespan Joy Guaranteed

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many molars does a dog have?

You’ll find that dogs have 10 molars – those strong, flat teeth towards the rear of their jaws. These powerful chompers are perfect for grinding down tough foods like kibble or bones. A healthy set of molars is essential for your pup’s dental wellness.

What is the average number of teeth an adult has?

An astounding 32 permanent teeth grace most adults’ smiles! You’ll find 8 incisors for biting, 4 canines for tearing, 8 premolars, and 12 molars for grinding food. Maintaining this dazzling array with regular cleanings guarantees lifelong oral health.

How many incisors does a dog have?

You’re right to ask—dogs have 12 incisors, with 6 located on the upper and lower jaw. These sharp teeth are perfect for tearing meat and grooming their fur coat.

How many teeth does a puppy have?

Let’s uncover the truth about puppy teeth! Puppies have 28 sharp, little teeth for chewing solid food – 12 incisors, 4 canines, and 12 premolars. It’s a vital stage before their 42 permanent adult teeth come in.

What causes retained deciduous (baby) teeth in dogs?

Retained deciduous teeth in dogs often stem from a genetic issue. The puppy teeth fail to fall out naturally when the adult teeth emerge, leading to crowding and potential dental problems if not addressed promptly by a veterinarian.

Are dog dental treats safe for puppies?

Like a hungry pup eyeing a juicy bone, dental treats can seem tempting for puppies. However, their developing jaws and teeth need extra care – stick to puppy-approved chews until those adult chompers arrive.

Can dog tooth loss lead to other issues?

Yes, tooth loss in dogs can lead to serious issues. You risk infection, pain, difficulty eating, and weight loss if left untreated. Regularly brush your pup’s teeth and schedule professional cleanings to prevent dental problems.

How often should professional dental cleanings occur?

Like brushing your pearly whites daily, professional dental cleanings for your pup are essential – aim for at least once a year to keep their choppers healthy and sparkling bright.

Whats the best way to brush a dogs teeth?

You’ll want to use a soft-bristled toothbrush made for dogs and dog-friendly toothpaste. Gently brush the outer surfaces in circular motions, working your way around. Offer praise and treats to make brushing positive.


With 42 permanent teeth, your dog’s dental care routine is essential for their overall well-being.

You now know how many teeth dogs have and the importance of maintaining their dental hygiene.

Brush regularly, provide dental treats, and schedule professional cleanings to prevent gum disease and premature tooth loss.

A little effort goes a long way in keeping your pup’s pearly whites healthy and ensuring they can enjoy their favorite chews for years to come.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.