Do you know the normal number of teeth in dogs and cats? Puppies have 28, while adult dogs have 42. Kittens have 26, and adult cats 30.
These adult teeth erupt during the first six months of life, and it is very important to monitor this transition from "baby" teeth to "adult" or permanent teeth.
So, the real question is ... is the bite right?
Malocclusion involves teeth abnormally contacting other teeth or soft tissue, which can result in pain and discomfort. A thorough oral examination beginning with the initial puppy visit can identify significant abnormalities that may require immediate attention.
Scissor bite refers to the normal relationship between the upper and lower teeth. It is normal for the upper incisors to just overlap the lower incisors, the lower canine to fit between the last incisor and upper canine and for an even interdigitation of upper and lower molar teeth.
Malocclusions are variations of the bite from normal. This may be due to the teeth being abnormally positioned, or the jaw being misaligned. Flat-faced breeds have "abnormal" bites that are recognised as being normal for their breed, where the lower jaw protrudes in front of the upper jaw and alters the above tooth to tooth relationship.
Clinical experience of malocclusions is surprisingly lower in cats than dogs, however, malocclusions do occur in cats. Most aren't just cosmetic issues - some may cause difficulty or discomfort when eating or chewing, while others may cause trauma to gums, palate, cheeks, other teeth and lead to excessive tartar and calculus build up.
Be sure to monitor the transition of your puppies' teeth to adulthood to reduce the risks of malocclusions.