Question: What do you do when you find a loose tooth in your puppy’s mouth?

— Bobby

Answer: It’s time to start celebrating your puppy losing their sharp baby teeth!

Puppies start losing their deciduous (baby) teeth around 3 months old and all should be gone by about 7 months old.

A loose tooth can be left alone to fall out naturally. Many puppies swallow their deciduous teeth, which is not at all harmful.

Timing will vary with the breed, so it’s important for you and your veterinarian to monitor progress during appointments. If you notice a baby tooth still in place with the adult tooth growing nearby, discuss extracting the deciduous tooth to ensure the adult tooth has room to grow into the right spot.

This is a good time to start getting your puppy used to touching its mouth for routine checkups and to start introducing them to a toothbrush for at-home dental care.

— Lesley Gonzales, DVM, of Gruda Veterinary Hospital

Gruda Veterinary Hospital, established in 2001, is a full-service small-animal veterinary hospital in Santa Fe. Services include routine medical care, general surgery, dentistry, ultrasound, orthopedics, chiropractic and acupuncture, and the hospital is fully equipped with modern technology. Email your pet questions, along with your name and contact information, to askthevet@sfnewmexican.com.

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