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I have been trying since we brought Loki home to teach him that the tooth brush is ok. However he just wants to chew on it. 2-3 times a week I try and get him when hes calm and ever so gently try and brush his teeth, according to the vet this should work. Well it has not, he thinks I want to play and wants to chew on the brush or on me for that matter.

Hes not afraid of it by any means, I think he likes it in his mouth! But is this normal? Are there any other methods to this? Or should I just give up and try some of those teeth cleaning treats (which I hear are bad for him).

Also while on the subject - is doggie toothpaste required? or just suggested, because well among other things its expensive!

I have perused about the forums for this -but the search tool is sub par and going through thread by tread it tedious - I apologize in advance if this has already been addressed!
 

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The areas that you really need to brush are the outer surfaces, especially on the upper teeth. The inner surfaces almost never get tartar. Due to the tongue I think. If you aren't trying to brush on the inside, that cuts WAY down on the amount that they can chew on the brush. Brushing the outer surface of the upper teeth is really easy, just use a finger in the corner of the lip to pull back and expose the teeth. The rest of that hand helps hold the dog's head.

Tooth paste really isn't technically necessary, but if you use it your dog will be much more cooperative because they like the taste. That right there is worth the price IMHO. You don't need to use much at all. Another thing toothpaste does is get your dog licking. As the jaws open and close, that gives you a chance to brush the outer surfaces of the lower teeth. Once a dog is pretty cooperative with the whole process, I do go after the upper rear molars more. Just as the dog is licking I will go after it with the brush right below the molar with the bristles pointing up.

The teeth cleaning treats aren't that effective, or nutritious. Bones (raw) can really keep their teeth clean, except they don't work on the top of the canines.
 

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Update: I actually paid attention as I was brushing teeth last night. Here's how I REALLY position myself. Toothbrush in right hand, left hand on top of the dog's head and muzzle. One finger lifts the lip on the dog's left, thumb lifts the lip on the dog's right side.
 
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