Chinchillas are a unique pet to own and offer plenty of benefits and fun for the entire family.
However, sometimes exotic pets pose some challenges and leave new owners faced with issues that they likely have never encountered or had to deal with before with other common family pets.
With chinchillas, one of the most critical items to research and understand before adoption and even after adopting your chinchilla is your chinchilla’s teeth.
While this brief post may feel like it’s overloaded with information, I assure you that the topic of chinchilla teeth isn’t something to get overly worked up over.
By the end of this post, I’ll have you up to speed and understanding what precautions you can take to ensure that your chinchilla is being provided the best home possible.
Learning how to take care of a chinchilla, in general, isn’t overly complicated.
Still, it is imperative to educate yourself with trusted resources on subjects that you may not feel entirely comfortable about yet.
With that in mind, let’s start diving into everything you should understand about chinchilla teeth and what you can expect during your journey as a new chinchilla parent.
To make life easy, I’ve created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to skip to any section of this post that you desire to learn more about.
Here is what I plan on breaking down for you today in this brief post:
- Understanding Chinchilla Teeth
- How Many Teeth Does a Chinchilla Have?
- Recognizing and Keeping Your Chinchilla’s Teeth Healthy
- Can You Trim Chinchilla’s Teeth?
- Overgrown Chinchilla Teeth and What to Do
- How Fast Do Chinchilla Teeth Grow?
- Do Chinchilla Teeth Grow Back?
- Final Thoughts
- Share Your Thoughts
As mentioned previously, if you are short on time or need to skip around in this post to find specific information, feel free to use the links directly above to navigate around quickly.
Otherwise, if you have just a few minutes to spare, kick back and relax, and I’ll break down what you need to understand about chinchilla teeth and how to ensure you provide the best care possible for your new furry friend.
Here are the essential details to understand.
Understanding Chinchilla Teeth
The first thing that’s imperative to understand about a chinchilla is that they are much like other pets in the rodent family.
They have teeth that never stop growing.
This can either be nothing to worry about or can become problematic if you are not prepared and don’t understand what steps you need to take to accommodate them correctly.
Chewing is essential for chinchillas, and a method for chewing always needs to be provided.
Assuming it’s safe, of course.
It’s also imperative that you are ready to recognize any potential problems that may occur or signs that your chinchilla may be giving you that they are in pain or need further action on your end to take place.
Don’t worry, I plan on breaking down all these questions, concerns, and topics throughout the rest of this post for you.
Now that we understand that chinchillas have teeth that never stop growing let’s move into some of the frequently asked questions that may come up.
How Many Teeth Does A Chinchilla Have?
This is a common question that comes up frequently from chinchilla owners or individuals who are in the beginning process of adopting a new chinchilla.
Chinchillas have a total of 20 teeth. Chinchillas have four front incisors and 16 back molars. Only the 4 front incisors are visible without using a unique tool to view the 16 back molars. When chinchillas have issues with any of these 20 teeth, it’s imperative to seek medical help from a vet as soon as possible.
This is because of what we referenced previously.
When chinchillas deal with dental issues, it can be life-threatening relatively easily and quickly.
It can cause infections, pain, and create your chinchilla to stop eating when issues with their teeth or overgrown teeth persist and present themselves.
Now that we have some of the basics addressed let’s begin diving into some of the details about what you need to be looking for with your chinchilla and how to recognize healthy teeth vs. chinchilla teeth that may need attention.
Recognizing and Keeping Your Chinchilla’s Teeth Healthy
It’s tough to know when your chinchilla may be in pain or have a tooth issue if you don’t understand what you’re looking for.
That’s for sure.
Let’s ensure that this isn’t the case for you, and you have a good understanding.
First, it’s important that your chinchilla’s teeth are straight.
This is a good indicator that your chinchilla’s teeth are healthy.
It’s also essential that your chinchilla’s teeth remain a dark orange and almost red color.
I know it’s a bit weird that this is the ideal color, but trust me, this is what you want.
When your chinchilla’s teeth begin to fade to a more yellowish tint, it could indicate that your chinchilla needs some additional calcium.
If that’s the case, you can begin by offering more alfalfa hay to help bring your chinchilla’s calcium levels back to normal.
If this doesn’t take care of the problem, it’s probably best to stop trying to home remedy the issue and consult with a vet that’s certified to work with chinchillas.
If you need further information about the best hay recommendations for chinchillas, you can view my post here.
Can You Trim Chinchilla’s Teeth?
Technically, yes, a chinchilla’s teeth can be trimmed.
However, I highly recommend using a vet to complete this procedure.
A mistake, such as splitting the tooth or going too short, can result in significant pain and further complications.
It’s also typically advised that a chinchilla is put under during these procedures.
A chinchilla’s teeth can be trimmed without causing pain or issues if done correctly.
Especially when this is completed by a professional.
Two methods are most common when it comes to trimming a chinchilla’s teeth.
The first would require the use of dog nail trimmers, but this can easily split the tooth.
The second would be using a Dremel to grind the tooth off.
Tooth trims can be performing on the chinchilla’s incisors or their molars.
This will typically take place after a professional has recognized that your chinchilla has a tooth with an issue or a tooth that grown too long.
The reasons mentioned above are part of the reason it’s always so imperative to allow your chinchilla to grind their teeth and have adequate items within their cage to promote this.
If you need further information about finding the best chinchilla toys, you can view my post here.
You can also read more about chinchilla’s and what they enjoy playing with here.
Overgrown Chinchilla Teeth and What to Do
We just touched on this topic, but I wanted to reemphasize the main points one more time.
Overgrown teeth are a real problem and a real threat to a chinchilla.
It doesn’t take long for overgrown teeth to begin causing issues such as lack of eating and possibly even death if overgrown teeth go unnoticed with your chinchilla.
If you are beginning to spot some of the symptoms that may indicate this is taking place, such as:
- Gagging on Food While Eating
- Missing Fur
- Lethargic Behavior
It’s imperative to act quickly and seek professional help for your chinchilla before it’s too late.
If the situation and overgrown teeth are noticed and handled in a timely fashion, it’s likely that a tooth trim or another harmless and relatively cheap fix can be implemented to get your chinchilla back to a healthy and happy state.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
How Fast Do Chinchilla Teeth Grow?
Chinchilla’s teeth can grow rapidly. Chinchillas’ front teeth that are also referred to as the incisors can grow up to 3 inches per year.
Clearly, this backs my claims and reemphasizes the importance of allowing your chinchilla to always file down, chew, and grind their teeth as often as possible.
When it comes to owning a chinchilla, teeth, and active monitoring of their health is something that always needs to be a high priority.
Plain and simple.
Do Chinchilla Teeth Grow Back?
Yes, a chinchilla’s tooth will grow back. Chinchilla’s teeth never stop growing. It’s even possible that a tooth grows back incorrectly or not straight, causing issues and pain for your chinchilla.
If your chinchilla happens to have a tooth filed down or something else occurs shortening your chins teeth, the tooth will continue to grow and come back in much like all other rodents.
As you can see, chinchilla teeth are nothing to take lightly, and a chinchilla’s teeth are ranked near the top of critical factors to always be monitoring and ensuring you are providing the best care possible.
Without doing so, your chinchilla could ultimately end up in a lot of pain or eventually die due to teeth complications.
However, with proper care, the proper items, and diet, it’s possible you never face any issue with your chinchilla’s teeth, and you can enjoy a loving bond with your chinchilla for the next few decades.
Nonetheless, always be keeping an eye on the situation and don’t be afraid to speak to a professional if something seems off.
Chili and I appreciate you stopping by today, and we wish you the best of luck with your journey.
Share Your Thoughts
Do you have any further recommendations for the readers about chinchilla teeth and how to care for them properly?
Anything you feel needs added to this post?
Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading.
Thanks again, and we will see you next time.