Dental hygiene is as important for dogs as it is for humans, though many pet owners don't realize it. A buildup of plaque on your dachshund's teeth can lead to tooth pain, decay, bad breath and infection, all of which are risky to the dog's overall health and well-being. To combat these problems, establish a regular tooth brushing routine. If introduced properly, your dachshund will not fight having its teeth brushed and the process can even turn into a positive bonding experience for both of you.
Allow your dachshund to sample and get used to the taste and texture of toothpaste by licking some off your finger before you begin trying to brush its teeth. Most toothpastes made for dogs come in flavors such as poultry, beef or peanut butter, so it's likely that the dog will enjoy the taste and may even think of it as a treat.
Place some more toothpaste on your finger and gently rub it on the dog's teeth and gums. This will help the dog get used to having something in its mouth. If the dog doesn't struggle or seem upset by this, gradually work your way from the front to the back teeth. Repeat this process on a daily basis until the dog seems to be comfortable with it. Each time the dog allows you to clean its teeth with your finger, praise the dog and give it a treat or play reward.
Get out the dog's toothbrush and sit or kneel beside the dog. Avoid holding the dog down, which can be intimidating. Put a small amount of toothpaste onto the toothbrush and then gently place your hand over the top of the dog's muzzle and lift its lips on one side, revealing the teeth.
Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, which will help to clean plaque at the gum line. Use small, circular strokes over the teeth and gums, making sure to brush both the top and bottom teeth. A small amount of gum bleeding is normal, particularly when you've just started brushing regularly, but if it persists or if there is a large amount of blood, contact your veterinarian because it may be an indicator of gum disease.
Talk to your dachshund in a cheerful tone and lavish the dog with praise both during and after the brushing. When you're finished, give the dog a treat or take it outside to play. Doing so will help the dog to view having its teeth brushed as a positive experience.
Increase the frequency of brushing as your dog becomes more comfortable with it. Ideally, you will want to brush your dog's teeth on a daily basis to keep its teeth and gums healthy.