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How to brush your dog’s teeth?

Bichon with toothbrush in mouth advice
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Dog’s dental health is crucial, because they help to reduce gum disease, periodontal disease and bad breath. You wish to brush your dog’s teeth but don’t want to have them professionally cleaned? We have that covered for you.

By Emilie Heyl

To brush your dog’s teeth, you must use dental products specifically for dogs (such as dog toothbrush and toothpaste) and you must not use human toothpaste. The most common product to use is a paste applied with your fingertip. There are also tablets. It is necessary to accustom the puppy to this treatment from an early age in order for them to accept the tooth cleaning.

To do so, hold the dog's head by putting your hand on their neck, then slide the dog’s toothbrush across one side of the mouth (on the opposite side, they'll chew on the brush). Don't use too much toothpaste (otherwise it will cause them to salivate). Regular brushing helps to delay the appearance of plaque and bad breath.

An owner must pay particular attention to the problems and dental care of their dog.

Veterinarian's advice on how to properly brush your dog's teeth

Dr. Noémie Tommasini, Director and Trainer at the Ecole supérieure d'aides vétérinaires - Institut Bonaparte in Paris explains how to properly brush your dog's teeth with this brushing process:

1/ First of all: You will need:

  • A veterinary toothpaste that will remove plaque while also being palatable (i.e. it tastes good for your dog).
  • A toothbrush or fingertip, the fingertip is a plastic tip that you place on your finger and it replaces the brush.

Do you have everything? Let's go: place your dog comfortably on a table, on the floor or on your lap depending on his size.

2/ Secondly: place a dash of toothpaste on the brush or fingertip.

3/ Thirdly: with your non-dominant hand, lift your dog's lips up. With the other hand, take the toothbrush or fingertip and rub the surface of the teeth. No need to rinse!

If the gums look swollen, red or painful, remember to consult your Veterinarian.

To conclude: Dental health is crucial for a healthy dog. Use a toothpaste made for dogs, lift the lips, rub the tooth surface with the toothpaste. For it to be effective, tooth brushing should be done regularly, about once a week.  Brushing their teeth delays the appearance of plaque but does not substitute scaling at the vet.

Here are some tips from a veterinarian who explains by video how to clean your dog's teeth: