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Video:How to Brush a Puppy's Teeth

with Annie Grossman

Brushing a puppy's teeth is important to their dental health, but you have to be mindful of over-stressing them. Learn how to brush a puppy's teeth and keep it a pleasant experience in this how-to video from About.com.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Brush a Puppy's Teeth

Hi I'm Annie Grossman, I'm a co-owner of School for the Dogs in New York City, and I'm here for About.com to talk about how to brush your puppy's teeth.  

Get Your Puppy Used to Having Their Teeth Handled

This is Belle and today we're going to brush her teeth. It's important to get your dog used to his teeth and his mouth being handled early on. You should start as soon as you get your puppy. And you can even use your finger, you don't have to use a special toothbrush.

You don't have to use toothpaste. At the very beginning, all you do is get your finger a little wet, then rub it around their gums a little bit, then follow it with a treat, that's ok. You just want them to get used to having their teeth and their mouth handled in that way.  A lot of dog diseases can start in the gums, so it's a good idea to get started with good gum care early on, and get used to having their mouths handled. 

Products for Cleaning a Puppy's Teeth

There are also several products that are gels which you can apply straight onto your finger, then on to your dog's teeth and gums. You don't have to brush them, you don't have to wash it off. These work just by sitting on their gums, they lick it off their teeth, and as they lick it off their teeth, their teeth get cleaned. This is a finger brush, slides right over your finger. So, put a little bit of toothpaste on the finger brush, even just some water if you don't have toothpaste, and just we're just going to rub it around a little bit, keep it short and sweet and easy, you don't want her to get stressed out. 

How to Clean Your Puppy's Teeth

Follow it with a reward. There are several kinds of toothbrushes you can use, if you want to brush your dog's teeth. This side is for larger dogs, or when your dog gets bigger. This side is for smaller mouths. If you don't have a brush like this, you could use a baby toothbrush, anything that's small. Just hold it close to the end, and again, just keep it real easy, I'm just touching her gums, just a very little bit, and her teeth.  Not getting all parts of her tooth but that's okay, just a little bit. I want it to be easy, not stressful for me or for her, and I'm always going to follow it up with a treat. You were such a good girl, Belle!

So these have been tips on taking care of your puppy's teeth. For more information, please visit About.com.

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