A rabbit’s teeth never stop growing. Like the guinea pig, hamster, mouse and rat, the teeth grow throughout their lives and are kept worn through chewing. The rabbit has 22 cheek teeth - 6 upper premolars, 4 lower premolars, 6 upper molars and 6 lower molars - four incisors, and 2 auxiliary incisors located behind the upper 2 incisors.
They keep the cheek teeth healthy and worn to a proper length while chewing food prior to swallowing. In addition, rabbits grind their molars to indicate happiness, pain and frustration. They keep the incisors at a proper length by tearing hay, and leafy foods, and by chewing harder vegetables such as carrots and during normal investigation and play.
Though rabbits don’t need regular dental cleaning like a cat or dog, you can help promote healthy teeth with the food you give them as well as the toys you provide. Some great toys to use for incisor health include cardboard such as boxes, paper towel rolls and empty toilet paper rolls, wood such as children’s non-painted wood blocks and fruit branches that have dried a month or more ( NO cherry wood).
You can also give them hanging toys designed for birds. The metal ones not only provide a sturdy chewing toy, but the clanging noise as they sway is also entertaining for many rabbits. Wood hanging toys for birds found at most pet stores are a good item; just make sure they are not painted and do not contain red wood. You can also make your own hanging toys using wood wheels and forms from a hobby shop, wire coat hangers and some bailing wire.
Since rabbits love to chew on things as well as flip and toss items, small, very hard plastic bowls or cups can also be used to entertain them and keep their teeth healthy. Providing a nice supply of different toys will not only keep your bunny’s teeth healthy, but will make your furry friend very happy as well.