A Beginner's Guide
There are many benefits for a dog to have clean teeth. Their breath will not smell bad, their gums and teeth will be healthier, better looking, and their overall health will be better impacted. The plaque tartar and bacteria that grows in your dog's mouth affects their entire body and the way you interact with them. This beginner's guide will help you ease your corgi into being comfortable with having their teeth brushed. Follow this guide daily for the best results, even when mastered.
Start with getting a pet toothbrush and toothpaste. I'll show you what we use to keep our corgi's mouth clean and where to buy it.
Have a regular spot where your corgi can be alone and without distraction. This will help set expectations for your corgi. We use our bathroom with the door closed and radio on (at a low volume) to lessen distractions.
Just before you start the process, give them some rubs and attention. Put them at ease.
Place your hand over the front of their brow and place your thumb in their lip and pull back. You may need to use your other hand to help get the positioning you need. You can also use your middle finger to do the same thing.
You may alternatively place your hand over the bridge of their nose in front of their eyes instead of over their brow.
Hand positioning will be your preference.
From Toothpaste To Brush
This part will take several days depending on how receptive your corgi is. Patience and consistency are key.
If your corgi has little to no experience with having their teeth brushed you'll want to start by placing a little toothpaste on your finger and letting them lick it off.
Add more to your finger and see if you can lift up their lip with your other hand while rubbing their canines and front teeth with your toothpaste flavored finger. Make sure to rub both sides of the mouth just as you would with a toothbrush. When rubbing and eventually brushing their teeth, only do the outsides of their teeth.
Although the toothpaste will soften the plaque around their teeth, you're not really "brushing" in the traditional sense. You're just getting them used to the process.
Do this daily until your corgi is more comfortable with your finger going further into both sides of their mouth. You'll want to get their large teeth in the back as well as the hidden smaller teeth behind it.
After your corgi has mastered letting you use your finger to rub their teeth, you can introduce a toothbrush.
When brushing the front or the sides of your corgi's mouth you'll want to brush all of the top teeth and bottom separately. A general top/bottom (in 1 go) will not do.
While brushing you'll want to go in a circular motion so you get the margin between the tooth and gums as well as the tooth itself.
Once you get to the last Premolar on the upper jaw, re-position your toothbrush at a 45° angle and make your way to the molars.
It's important to get the molars as people tend to miss them causing dental disease to sneak up on you.
Since your corgi will like the taste of the toothpaste you'll notice they're probably moving their lower jaw up and down repeatedly. As their lower jaw is moving try to get their molars. Going from the molars of the lower jaw, brush towards the front of the mouth towards their canines.
This process will take several days or weeks depending on how receptive your corgi is. If your corgi regresses back to only wanting a toothpaste flavored finger then don't be discouraged. Consistency is more important during this transitional phase.
Apply a generous amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush. Just as before start with their front teeth and canines.
If you see that they will let you go further into their mouth then continue to and past the premolars. If they're struggling too much then focus on what they'll let you do for now.
Repeat this until they are more comfortable with you getting their back teeth.
Once they are comfortable, you should be spending about 30 seconds on each side of their mouth.
It helps to give your corgi a dental treat after their brushing as a reward. They'll be more motivated once they associate brushing their teeth with getting a healthy snack afterwards.
In my experience Greenies work very well after a few days of use to help reduce the amount of plaque and tartar buildup.