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Bite Into Oral Health: Chihuahua Teeth Facts

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Many people wonder if their dog’s teeth really need to be brushed. The answer is a definite yes, especially if the dog is a chihuahua.

As chihuahuas are one of the longest living breeds of dogs, the pearly whites that snatch bacon off your plate need loving care just like the rest of your chihuahua to help them live the longest and healthiest life possible.

Check out our main post that showcases all our chihuahua fact articles!

We will exploring different chihuahua teeth facts that you may not know. But even if you do know them, it’s a good reminder.

The most common health issue suffered by the Chihuahua are dental issues

chihuahua with open mouth

Chihuahuas are known to suffer from dental issues. Periodontal disease is most often found in chihuahuas.

Poor oral hygiene in dogs can lead to bacteria from the mouth entering the blood stream and impacting their heart, kidneys, and liver.

There are many signs that your chihuahua is suffering from an oral health issue, such as:

closeup of dog's bad teeth

  • Their appetite decreases, which may be as a result of a painful dental issue that makes eating difficult.
  • Their breath smells bad, which may be the smell of an oral infection.
  • Adult teeth should not wiggle loose like puppy teeth.   Loose teeth is not a natural part of aging and can be prevented with good oral hygiene. Dogs lose teeth as a result of bone loss in their jaw from periodontal disease.
  • If you notice blood on your chihuahua’s toys, check their teeth. While they may have cut their gums on a sharp edge, it could be an indication of a more serious problem.
  • If your chihuahua is drooling excessively, that is an indication of an oral health issue and should be examined by a veterinarian.
  • If your chihuahua will not let you look at their teeth, this could be because they are hurting.
  • Visible plaque, which is usually gray or yellow in color, means your chihuahua needs a professional dental cleaning.

If severe enough, oral health problems can shorten your chihuahua’s life span. The good news is that there are many preventative care options to help your chihuahua improve their dental health.

You can even start improving your chihuahua’s dental health today! Start by brushing his teeth.

How to brush your Chihuahua’s teeth

chihuahua with toothbrush in mouth

Now that you know your chihuahua needs her teeth brushed, where do you start?

First, you will need to purchase a dog tooth brushing kit. This first step towards good oral hygiene is not expensive; dog dental kits are usually less than $10.

Watch this video for a step by step guide of how to train your chihuahua to tolerate their teeth being brushed.

  • If your dog is not used to her teeth being brushed, or you are training a puppy to tolerate their teeth being brushed, starting with the finger brush may be easier.
  • If your dog will not tolerate the brush or the finger brush, wrap gauze around your finger to use during training sessions and brushing sessions. This will be less intimidating and help make starting this new habit more comfortable.
  • Combined with an appealing smelling dog tooth paste, like poultry or peanut butter, your chihuahua will warm up to this new part of her routine.
  • Be sure to purchase a brush with a small brush head. If the small brush head does not work for your chihuahua, consider purchasing a tooth brush designed for human babies. While your chihuahua can use a human tooth brush, he cannot use human tooth paste. Only use dog tooth paste to brush your dog’s teeth.
  • Keep in mind that you should brush your chihuahua’s teeth 2 to 3 times a week (daily is better) for the brushing to make an impact.
  • Only the outside of their teeth require brushing. This is lucky, as chihuahua’s tiny mouths make brushing the inside of their teeth challenging.
  • If you have a puppy, now is the time to work with her to get her used to her teeth being brushed. If you have an adult chihuahua who is not used to his teeth being brushed, with a little patience and persistence, you can train him to get used to it too.

Brushing a chihuahua's teeth

Remember how important this is to their overall health if they are not cooperating with you.

How many teeth do dogs have?

Puppies are born with 28 “milk teeth” or baby teeth which are fully grown by the age of 10 weeks. These puppy teeth are usually all lost by the time they are 1 year old, and replaced with a set of 42 permanent adult teeth.

Helping puppies prepare for their adult teeth

chihuahua puppy chewing a chew toy

It is very important for puppies to have lots of chew toys to help wiggle their puppy teeth loose.

Purchase lots of rubber bones and rope toys for your puppy; as they sink their teeth into the rubber of the bone and the string of the rope, their teeth will wiggle.

If a puppy does not lose a tooth, it may be impacted when it’s adult counterpart replaces it.

Monitor all your puppy’s teeth and show your veterinarian if you notice crowding or impacted teeth.

An impacted tooth can usually be removed while the puppy is spayed or neutered, reducing the frequency of times they would spend under anesthesia.

If an impacted tooth is not removed, food can become stuck around the impacted site, or one of teeth can break. Both scenarios can result in a painful infection.

Helping adult chihuahuas maintain good oral health

After your puppy loses all their puppy teeth, your next task is making sure their adult teeth stay healthy.

While veterinarians do acknowledge that brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is important, there are other things you can do without brushing their teeth to help keep them clean and sparkling:

Closing Considerations

You can proactively improve your chihuahua’s oral health by:

  • Brushing their teeth daily.
  • Scheduling professional dental cleanings regularly.
  • Feeding dental treats.
  • Providing dental chew toys.

Veterinarian checking chihuahua's teeth

If brushing their teeth is something you don’t want to deal with have their teeth cleaned professionally by your vet

I know it can be a pain to deal with but your dog’s teeth aren’t something you can ignore. If you want to keep your chi pain free, comfortable, healthy and help them live longer, you need to care for their teeth.

I’d love to know if you have found any easy ways to keep your dog’s teeth clean. Share them with us in the comments!


Diana Jaimes

Saturday 11th of September 2021

Please help my chi


Friday 23rd of July 2021

My little girl, who is 13, has had two dental surgeries. She has six teeth left. I now use PetzLife Oral Care Peppermint Gel on her remaining teeth. You put the gel on your finger and can either rub it over the gums or just put it on the tongue and it goes to work. I think Bella really enjoys her "minty breath".


Friday 23rd of July 2021

That's great Marguerite!


Friday 17th of January 2020

What is the recommended time frame for dental cleaning from vet? Every year?


Saturday 18th of January 2020

It really depends on the dog. Usually it's once a year but if the teeth are taken care of at home, it can be every 2-3 years or not at all even. So far my 3 haven't needed their teeth professionally cleaned and I hope that continues.