Even as a puppy my girl didn’t like to have her face touched too much, and then due to a few health problems she had to endure some prodding and poking on several areas, including her face, She now hates being touched anywhere on the face. It took me 2 years to desensitize her to the point I can quickly wipe her eyes and flip her lips long enough to check her teeth before she pulls away (and let’s not even talk about the apparent torture session that is grooming!). It didn’t help that she had to get a biopsy of her nose taken a couple years ago which was kinda traumatic for her, so now she’s even more wary about me touching her mouth!
Early on I started the closest thing to dental hygiene I could manage using dental treats and using tug-o-war with her plushies as an excuse to sort of rub her teeth with the fabric while playing. It has worked fairly well. She’s 5 now, and only now I started to notice some tartar building up. I found this site while looking for ways to get rid of that tartar. Frankly, at this point I’m not sure I want to try to get her to accept the brush, even a finger brush, but maybe she’d accept rubbing coconut oil with my finger if she likes the flavor? Is coconut oil enough to remove tartar?