Sometimes also referred to as milk teeth, Great Danes are actually born toothless and don’t start growing in their puppy teeth until weeks 2-4. By the time they have reached 5-6 weeks of age, they will have 28 puppy teeth in place.
These puppy teeth allow them to begin eating soft foods and transition away from surviving solely on their mother’s milk. You may also hear your veterinarian refer to puppy teeth as “deciduous” teeth.
Most Great Danes begin losing their puppy teeth around the age of 4 months. Don’t be alarmed if yours starts the process a little bit sooner or later as it’s not an exact science! From start to stop, it usually takes a month or two to lose all 28 puppy teeth. By month seven, all 42 adult (permanent) teeth are usually in place.
Why do Great Danes lose their “puppy” teeth?
Strange as it may seem, your Great Dane will lose their puppy teeth even faster then they came in! This is a normal process experienced by most mammals as part of the maturation process.
As they grow, their larger jaws create the space necessary to hold a full set of adult teeth. Not only are these teeth larger and more robust, but they also need to create space for 14 more! 😉
Unlike other animals, Great Danes will only get one set of adult teeth. Therefore, making taking good care of them that much more important!
Animals such as elephants, sharks, and crocodiles have solved this dilemma by growing multiple sets of teeth
What should you do when their puppy teeth start falling out?
The first and most obvious sign of teething will be small amounts of blood on their toys. Other signs of teething include drooling, swollen gums, smelly breath, hesitation to eat, or increased chewing behaviors.
You may even find a puppy tooth or two lying around, or even embedded in a toy. However, because they are so small, you also may not find any at all!
Regardless of the tooth recovery situation, once they start losing them your job is easy. Just let them fall out on their own! No assistance is required and is in fact not recommended.
Their teeth have very deep roots, and pulling a tooth too soon could cause the root to break and lead to infection.
The only exception here is if you notice an adult tooth starting to push its way upwards, but the puppy tooth has not loosened. This could be a case of a retained tooth and should be left to the care of a veterinarian (see below for more details).
Is losing their puppy teeth painful?
If your Great Dane is still engaging in regular activities such as eating, playing, and chewing then it’s likely not causing a problem for them.
However, if they do seem to be overly affected, then it may be worth visiting with your veterinarian to make sure that a larger issue isn’t at hand.
You can also help to ease their achy gums by freezing wet rags for them to chew on. Most will just hold the frozen rag in their mouths while it soothes their gums.
Putting a few ice cubes in their water bowls is another good trick. The cool water will also soothe them, and help to flush the mouth.
Soft rubber and leather toys are other favorites during periods of heavy teething.
Make sure to provide them with something desirable to chew on during this period. Otherwise, they may find your favorite pair of leather shoes and take them for a chew or two!
What if they don’t lose all of their puppy teeth?
While most Great Danes will naturally lose all of their puppy teeth by six months, it’s still good to keep an eye on them. Your veterinarian will also be doing the same during puppy wellness visits.
Puppy teeth that fail to fall out on their own may need to be removed by the vet to prevent future dental issues. Adult teeth that are forced to come in at an abnormal angle or position due to sharing a socket with a puppy tooth could lead to issues with alignment, abnormal wear, and infection.
The upper canines are the most frequent culprits for teeth retention followed by the lower canines. Lucky for you, the canines are easy to identify even without a dental degree!
They are the long pointed teeth near the front of your dog’s mouth. There are two on the top and two on the bottom (one per side). While issues with deciduous tooth retention are possible in Great Danes, it’s not a common occurrence.
Smaller breeds with short faces are more frequently affected by tooth retention. Examples of such breeds include Pugs, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers. Depending on the complexity of the operation and the area in which you live, tooth extraction usually runs between $150 – $600.
Final tips on puppy teeth care
One of the most important aspects of puppy dental care is getting them used to having their mouth touched. Lift their lips and touch their teeth, gums, and tongue. Getting them used to these sensations at an early age will make care later in life much easier.
Find them a soft-bristled dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste to get them used to the sensation of teeth cleaning. Unless you’ve somehow taught your Dane to spit, human toothpaste should absolutely be avoided as it’s not intended to be swallowed and could make your dog sick.
While they’re actively teething, you may want to avoid actual brushing and just use your finger to gently move around some of the toothpaste. Remember, like you they only get one set of adult teeth. So it’s important to take good care of them!
If you enjoyed this article and would like more information, make sure to take a look at our additional article on Great Dane dental care and our favorite Daney dental products.