Rabbits are known for their teeth. Bugs bunny, Peter Rabbit, Roger Rabbit the depictions of rabbits in cartoon form hone in on their most prominent features: ears and teeth. Whilst a rabbit’s ears are quite visible, typically it is only ever the front two teeth of rabbits that are ever on show. It is no wonder that as an owner or lover of rabbits you may have some questions about their teeth, including how many teeth they have.
So, how many teeth do rabbits have? In total, most rabbits will have around 28 teeth. Their two front teeth both top and bottom are incisors and behind them are two smaller peg-like teeth (auxiliary incisors). A rabbit also has molars, the flat teeth in their cheeks and back of their mouth that help to grind up their food. They have in total 6 upper and 4 lower premolars as well as 6 further molars both upper and lower.
Learning more about your rabbit’s teeth can help you take the best care of your buns dental health and also help to prevent any issues that can arise from poor oral hygiene in rabbits.
Like all pets, rabbits require contentious care. Hence why it is important for owners to understand more about their pet’s teeth.
Let us now take a closer look at the teeth of a rabbit along with some of the most common questions owners have.
We’ll be covering whether a rabbits teeth can fall out, whether they should be brushed and whether or not they need to be trimmed.
So be sure to keep on reading to get all of the information you need.
Teeth Of Rabbits
Rabbits teeth grow continuously throughout their lives. From when they are first born, up until they are in their old age, a rabbit’s teeth will constantly grow and change. It is important owners are aware of this so they can provide optimal care for their rabbit’s dental health and hygiene.
In the wild rabbits live off a diet of grass, hay, leaves and sometimes the odd twig or two. This is the optimal diet for a rabbit for many reasons, including their teeth.
Not only does the consumption of these particular foods make for good gut health, but it also means that wild rabbits are near constantly chewing. This keeps their constantly growing teeth in good shape.
Pet rabbit owners should seek to feed their rabbit a diet that resembles that of wild rabbits in order to promote healthiness in terms of their bun’s teeth. However, there are some circumstances that may require your rabbit to be seen by the vet that, in terms of their teeth, are unavoidable.
A rabbit’s teeth are made for chewing and chomping, nibbling and gnawing. The incisors at the front of their mouths are primarily for biting off pieces of their food and gnawing at twigs, carrots and firmer food sources. Their molars – towards the back of their mouths – are predominantly designed to grind and chew up food ready to be swallowed.
Your bun’s tongue is also an important part of the chewing process, they are very thorough chewers indeed! Studies have revealed that in for each mouthful of food your rabbit eats their jaw (and thus their teeth) move up to 120 times!
Generally, rabbits’ teeth are well used and hence well worn. Meaning that any growth of the teeth does not affect or cause damage to your rabbit’s mouth because chewing constantly grinds them down.
Whilst this will happen naturally for most rabbits who are fed a diet that roughly mimics that of bunnies in the wild, there are certain things that may cause your rabbit discomfort or even pain where their teeth are concerned.
Poor diet is something that is likely to affect a rabbit’s teeth. If their food is too soft (not fibrous enough) or they are not eating enough in terms of quantity, this can mean they are not able to grind properly and their teeth may grow too long and cause problems.
Make sure your rabbit has access to grass and a high quality 2nd cut timothy hay they can chew on and enjoy all day. This is perhaps the best hay to but from Amazon.
We would also recommend providing certain twigs and other specialized rabbit chew toys (like this on Amazon) to keep their teeth at a good length.
If your rabbit’s teeth are in perfect alignment with one another, chewing their food and other things like twigs, should be enough to keep them naturally the ‘right length’ for your rabbit.
However, malocclusion can be a problem for some rabbit’s dental health. Malocclusion is where a rabbit’s teeth are not in alignment with one another.
Consequently, when a rabbit chews, their teeth are not able to grind together and this can mean that some of the rabbit’s teeth can grow too large for their mouths.
We would encourage owners to check their rabbit’s routinely. Malocclusion is not always obvious to spot so seek medical advice if you notice symptoms such as weight loss, food avoidance or difficulty chewing.
It is important that owners check the health of their rabbits often. Because a rabbit’s teeth are inside their mouths, medical intervention by a vet may sometimes be required.
If you have any concerns about your rabbit’s health, it is important to seek treatment advice from your vet.
Do Rabbits Teeth Fall Out?
You may be curious as to whether, like infant human’s teeth, do rabbits teeth fall out? The answer to this question is yes they do!
Rabbits tend to be born with a full set of baby teeth (often called milk teeth). As a rabbit grows older, their milk teeth will wobble and fall out and be replaced by a full set of adult teeth that will, hopefully, last them a lifetime.
No need for alarm if you notice your baby rabbits teeth are starting to fall out – it is perfectly normal and natural.
The adult teeth grown by your rabbit should, with a good diet and proper care, last them a lifetime.
Rabbits teeth are constantly worn down by all the chomping and chewing they do and are often referred to as open rooted teeth.
Remember, rabbits teeth are constantly growing. There are some anecdotal reports of owners finding that their rabbits teeth have regrown even after being purposely removed as part of malocclusion surgery.
So, even if your rabbits teeth were to fall out; try not to worry. There should not be any issues so long as the teeth grow in the right alignment patterns.
Should I Brush My Rabbits Teeth?
When considering your rabbits dental health, you may be wondering whether or not you should brush your rabbit’s teeth?
Typically, there is no need for owners to brush the teeth of their pet rabbit and it is likely that your vet would advise against it altogether.
Due to the fact that rabbits have open rooted teeth that never stop growing, there is no need to brush their teeth.
This is because rabbit’s teeth, over their lifetime, are constantly being worn down and changing due to the constant chewing.
When you think about it, the teeth you would be brushing are not actually there for long!
Additionally, rabbits have very different teeth from you or I, hence why brushing is not needed.
Brushing your rabbit’s teeth may in fact have unnecessary negative effects on your pet, causing a stress response as you attempt to hold them down and prize open their mouths.
How Often Do Rabbits Teeth Need Trimming?
Generally speaking, a rabbit’s teeth should only ever need trimming if there is a problem with them, malocclusion for example.
If you are aware of your rabbit needing their teeth trimmed, always book an appointment with your vet to have this done.
Rabbits teeth are different to human teeth, trimming their teeth will not be painful for them, however the process can cause distress for your bun.
Usually, trimming of teeth in rabbits will be done whilst your rabbit is awake, however in extreme cases or if your rabbit is particularly skittish, they may need to be sedated for this process.
Malocclusion in rabbits’ teeth can mean that they will need their teeth trimmed regularly, once a moth in some severe cases. If this is the case, then your vet may advise you to book in for you rabbit to have the affected teeth removed altogether.
Whilst this sounds like a drastic measure, removal of malocclusion affected teeth can be far more beneficial to your rabbit in the long run and avoids stressful and regular visits to the vets.
Rabbits teeth are heavily reliant on constant chewing on foods such as grass, hay, leaves and twigs. A healthy diet for your pet rabbit will include as many of these foods as possible and will keep you rabbit’s teeth ground down to a length that is comfortable and right for your rabbit.
So as an owners, be sure to stock up on high-quality hay and to give you rabbit a regular and liberal supply. From there, chew toys will go a long way to ensuring your rabbit can partake in natural behaviors and keep their teeth at an optimal length.
A rabbit’s teeth will grow constantly through their lifetime. If you own a rabbit you should be vigilant to try and prevent any dental problems. If you notice any changes in your pet rabbits weight, appetite or eating habits, please seek the advice of your vet.