So you're wondering how to brush a dog's teeth? This job can be very easy… or very difficult, depending on how well she cooperates.  However, easy or hard, it is extremely important for you to regularly take care of your dog’s teeth to prevent dental problems.  Follow these simple steps when learning how to brush a dog's teeth:

1)    Obtain the proper supplies. 
Of course you need a few items before you can begin.  You will need a canine toothbrush, you can also use a nylon-bristle children’s toothbrush, rubber finer brush, a washcloth and/or a piece of gauze.  Pet toothpaste is necessary as well.  You should talk to your veterinarian before trying a certain kind just in case your dog needs a special type.

2)    Position yourself properly: 
You should be on one side of the dog’s head.  Use one hand to lift up the lip and the other hand to use the toothbrush.

3)    Position the toothbrush properly. 

The bristles should be at a 45-degree angle to the tooth and pointing toward the gum line.  This is necessary so you can brush along the crevice where the gum and tooth meet, which is where gingivitis develops.

4)    Begin brushing.
You should brush in an oval motion, as you would while brushing your own teeth.  This will properly remove bacteria and other substances that cause plaque and tartar build-up.

5)    Distribute the toothpaste
It should be placed over each tooth as you brush to utilize the benefit of the enzymes or abrasives in the toothpaste. 

6)    Brush all sections of the mouth. 
This includes the upper and lower front teeth, upper left and lower left arcade, and upper right and lower right arcade.

7)    Pay particular attention to problem areas. 
As you brush each tooth, be sure you’re taking good care of the upper canines (“fangs”) and upper fourth premolars (“camassials”) which are the large shearing teeth toward the back of the mouth.

8)    Examine the dog’s mouth. 

Look for unusual swelling, chipped or broken teeth, or bleeding gums.  If you notice any of these, it would be best to visit the veterinarian to diagnose or rule out any dental problems.

9)    Be patient. 
Dogs that are new to teeth brushing are most likely not going to be comfortable with it, especially puppies; however, they will eventually get accustomed to the routine.  It may help to praise and reward your dog after good behavior while brushing her teeth. 

Remember, if you have any questions regarding how to brush your dog's teeth, ask a veterinarian.  Regular visits to the vet will also ensure proper dental health for your dog because they will check the mouth for signs of diseases and other conditions. 

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