Teacup Maltipoos are tiny balls of joy. But something equally small can bring their energy down: their teeth. As a teacup breed, Maltipoos are prone to various dental problems. It could be a chipped tooth, teeth are out of place, or various mouth infections. Here, I’ll discuss these Maltipoo teeth problems and how you can deal with it. I also reviewed two brushes that you can use.[table id=2 /]
Dental care is crucial for Maltipoo dogs. By keeping any teeth problems away, you’re also reducing the risk of other diseases.
5 Common Maltipoo teeth problems
As tiny breeds, teacup Maltipoos are more susceptible to several dental and health problems. Since cure starts from the right diagnosis, you should consider having your doggo checked for the following:
1. Tooth trauma
Dogs explore their environment through their mouth. Teacup Maltipoos are no exception. Since you can’t monitor everything that your pet chomps, they are likely to experience tooth trauma at some point.
Stiff objects like the soles of your shoes or the edge of the sofa can chip or cause trauma to your teacup’s teeth. Rough play can also lead to tooth trauma.
Chipped daggers can range from a small chip up to a large slab fracture. Both need the attention of a veterinarian.
The harm here is that the chipped tooth will have exposed nerves. This will hurt until the nerve itself dies.
However, this doesn’t cut the suffering. Since there’s still an opening to your Maltipoo’s tooth where bacteria can enter, infections may ensue.
To avoid this, give your Maltipoo soft chews and toys. And if you see that there’s a chip on the doggo’s tooth, seek the help of a veterinarian right away.
2. Periodontal disease
Periodontal disease is one of the most common dental conditions among canines. This disease starts when plaque builds up around the dog’s teeth. As it thickens, it will become dark brown which is now called tartar.
Soon, the tartar will push into the gum line causing bleeding and discomfort. Since there’s an open wound in your dog’s mouth, it can be an entryway for a myriad of infections.
Tooth loss may happen if periodontal disease isn’t treated right away. Also, periodontal disease can lead to other serious health conditions as infections can spread into the bloodstream.
All dogs, not just Maltipoos, are prone to this condition. Diet, age, and chewing habits are just some of the affecting factors.
You can prevent the progression of periodontal disease by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly. Also, regular visits to the vet will help prevent other dental problems.
Some of the tell-tale signs of periodontal disease include blood spots on toys, inflamed gums, and a dark brown buildup around the tooth.
3. Misaligned teeth
Just like any dog, your teacup Maltipoo will undergo two teething phases. As they shed their baby teeth and the permanent daggers sprout, a tooth or two can be out of place.
Malocclusion or misaligned teeth may happen. Many breeds have the so-called trademark bite which is the basis in diagnosing dental misalignment.
Both Maltipoos parents, Maltese and Poodle, have the so-called ‘scissors bite’. The bite is leveled where the incisor teeth of the upper jaw are slightly overlapping on the bottom jaw.
Since dogs can’t wear dental braces, veterinarians will have two options in the case of misaligned teeth. If the malocclusion isn’t causing pain or discomfort, the vet will just let the tooth stay on its place.
In case the malocclusion is causing trouble, the veterinarian will have to pull it out. There’s no correction whatsoever for the purpose of aesthetics.
It’s quite tricky to spot a malocclusion. If your dog seems to chew clumsily and bites in a cumbersome way, have it checked by a veterinarian. Take note that a misaligned tooth is susceptible to periodontal disease.
In case the malocclusion is genetic, the vet will recommend that your Maltipoo be neutered or spayed. This is a way to prevent the spread of bad genes.
4. Loose teeth
Loose teeth aren’t a big problem if your teacup Maltipoo is still a puppy and currently teething. However, when a loose tooth occurs at adulthood, it’s important to have it treated.
It’s easy to spot a loose tooth. Take a close look on your dog’s mouth and search for two teeth occupying one place. This means that one baby tooth didn’t fall off during the teething process.
It’s important to remove the loose tooth as soon as possible or the adult tooth will come out crooked. And as you know, misalignment will cause periodontal disease along the way.
The veterinarian will put out the loose teeth and treat any present infection. Loose teeth among adult Maltipoos can be a sign of a more serious health condition.
Halitosis or bad breath says a lot about your Maltipoo’s health. First, it can be an innocent case of poor dental hygiene. There could be food deposits that are left sitting inside the dog’s mouth which is causing the foul smell.
Other causes could point out emergency situations involving your Maltipoo’s kidney and liver. If there’s a metallic scent to your dog’s breath, you should head straight to the veterinarian. It’s a tell-tale sign of kidney failure.
If any underlying health conditions are ruled out, bad breath can be treated with regular brushing and using chew toys.
Why dental care is important
Dental problems could be a sign of a more serious health condition. This is why it’s imperative to have it treated right away. Also, a minor case of tooth chipping can lead to complications if bacteria find their way into your dog’s bloodstream.
Just like humans, our dogs need proper dental care. It’s part of proper hygiene and responsible pet ownership.
However, the sad truth is that many pet owners don’t pay much attention to their dog’s dental health. They find it ‘unnecessary’. Only after an emergency visit to the vet that they will realize the value of regular brushing.
Remember that as your Maltipoo gets older the more they get prone to dental problems. As much as poor teeth quality is part of aging, you can delay further degradation with proper care.
Brushing and scraping your dog’s teeth is important. Below, I have a short guide that you can follow as well as two dog brushes that you can use.
How to care for your dog’s teeth
Aside from regular visits to the vet, taking care of your Maltipoo’s dental health is your responsibility. Here’s a simple process that will help prevent most Maltipoo teeth problems.
Step 1. Get the right tools
First, get the right toothbrush to use for your dog. Below, I reviewed two brushes that you can purchase. Next, use dog toothpaste. Remember, NEVER use toothpaste made for humans. This has fluoride that’s toxic to canines.
Step 2. Prepare your dog
Some Maltipoos can give a fight when you try to restrain them for brushing. One trick that I do is to give my teacup a short playtime so she won’t have the energy to fight back.
It will help if you get your pooch used to being held. Also, make it a habit to check your dog’s mouth so the canine will feel that it’s a normal practice.
If your pooch stayed still, consider giving it a dental chew after brushing.
Step 3. Brush your dog’s teeth
For brushing, focus on the outer layer of the teeth. Let the doggo lick the toothpaste so it will be spread inside the mouth. There are many flavored dog toothpaste products that you can choose.
In case your pooch doesn’t like the presence of hand-held toothbrushes, you can use a finger brush instead. This way, your doggo will think that you’re just playing with their mouth.
Make sure that you reach the farthest teeth without hurting your doggo.
Step 4. Scraping
Some dog owners prefer to scraping their pet’s teeth. It’s the same with the process of scraping tartar on human’s teeth.
The biggest challenge here is having your Maltipoo sit still. Scraping requires more precision to avoid injuring your pet’s mouth.
If you’re not skilled, just let a professional perform the scraping. Generally, this should be done at least once a year to prevent the development of the periodontal disease.
Is this your first time to brush your Maltipoo’s daggers? Here’s a video from Clint as has demonstrates the steps on brushing a doggo’s teeth.
Emergency dental care
Take note that some Maltipoos need immediate dental care treatments. One of the common situations is when you just adopted or picked the Maltipoo from a breeder or shelter.
Also, your Maltipoo needs emergency dental care if you haven’t brushed its teeth for at least 6 months. The neglected teeth would have thick tartar on it.
*Beware of biting
Brushing a Maltipoo’s teeth is no walk in the park. Beware of possible biting along the way.
Dental care for your Maltipoo isn’t something you do when it suits you. You should brush your dog’s teeth at least twice a week. Yearly visits to the vet are also necessary to keep up with the doggo’s dental health.
*Consult a veterinarian
No matter how you’re used to brushing your Maltipoo’s teeth, you’d still miss some spots. A veterinarian can take a good look and treat any infection on your pet’s mouth. Also, the vet can advise about proper dental health based on your dog’s condition.
Top 2 Best Toothbrushes for Teacup Maltipoos
MY TOP PICK: Pet Republique Dog Finger Toothbrush
Product Name: Pet Republique Dog Finger Toothbrush
Product Description: I personally use this finger brush from Pet Republique. It comes in a pack of 6 which is more than enough for a few months depending on how frequent you brush your Maltipoo’s teeth. Each brush is reusable!Unlike the conventional toothbrush, this one can be worn on the finger for better control. Just take note that this sized per finger and not per pet basis.Overall, the bristles are soft and can scrape off thin layers of tartar. It can also remove food bits stuck in between a dog’s teeth.
Arm and Hammer Tartar Control Dental Solutions for Dogs
If you prefer the conventional toothbrush with a handle, I recommend the Arm and Hammer Tartar Control Dog Brush. It can scrape away tartar from your Maltipoo’s daggers.
The bristles of this brush are infused with baking soda that will help remove plaque during brushing. Don’t worry since this is totally safe even for small dogs. For the best results, I suggest that you brush your Maltipoo with this at least twice a week.
Use a small amount of toothpaste if it’s your first time to brush your doggo’s teeth. For storage of the brush, use the case included in the package.
This is the same toothbrush that I used when my Maltipoo had gum inflammation. It eventually subsided when the tartar got removed. My dog’s vet told me that it’s the start of periodontal disease. Good thing I was able to scrape it off.
This dog toothbrush is very affordable and highly reusable. Once the bristles are bent or falling off, replace it right away to prevent your dog from swallowing the bristles.
Maltipoo teeth problems can be prevented with the right dental care. If you suspect that your pooch has dental problems, seek the help of a veterinarian right away.
Regular brushing is also important to prevent tartar buildup. Twice a week isn’t really demanding. After all, it’s for the health of your pet.