Archived Message

by Jane

I have a 4 months old maltese who is teething right now. However, I am not certain as to when exactly he will obtain his full set of adult teeth or the teeth he has right now is already adult teeth. I also wanted to ask if this set of teeth is going to be permenant or it will be replaced. If his teeth has a scissor bite right now, is it going to be changed, ie. over or underbite, when the adult teeth cuts in permenantly. Thank you for your responses.


At four months, the teeth your puppy has are probably baby teeth. At about 4 1/2 months to 5 months, permanent teeth (adult) start coming in. You do need to watch--the four canines in particular. Often times, the roots on those puppy canines will not let go and the permanent teeth will erupt around them--inside, outside, in front, or behind. Incorrect placement can throw the bite off. If you notice the permanent teeth coming in in the wrong place, I would consult your vet, perhaps even one who specializes in canine dentistry--yes there are such creatures. I routinely take my puupies into the vet at 4 1/2 months and have their puppy canines and incisors top and bottom pulled. (I also microchip them at this time.) Since I started this practice, the three litters of puppies have all had perfect scissors bites. Of course there are no guarantees, but pulling puppy teeth before the permanents erupt in the wrong place seems to help. (One puppy was undershot at 6 months, but had a perfect scissors bite at 9 months-so you pays your money and takes your chances. Pulling puppy teeth has made a big difference for me. Do check and make sure your vet is comfortable doing this as one who is not can permanently damage the adult tooth buds.
-Linda (Snow Angel)

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