how to clean your dog's teeth without the use of anesthesia
dedicated to the memory of  Jett the Papillon  (click on the butterfly)

I only use one dental tool. My mutts are used to having their teeth cleaned, but when I first started doing this I had a bowl of small goodies and after every scrape, they got one.  Now I dont bother, I just give them a break when they get squirmy. 

This is Skippy the Pom.  I have him pinned down in the chair with a good light right overhead.  I keep his mouth clamped shut as I work.  I brace my right hand with my little finger so I have good control over the dental pick.  I always scraped straight down, working from the gum line. 

For working on the back teeth I use my left thumb or fingers to pull back the corner of his mouth. 

To get at the lower teeth, I use my thumb to push down the lower lip, my index finger to retract the corner of his mouth, and my middle finger to lift the upper lip. The plaque at the gum line is more important than anything on the tooth surface. 

For my mother's very wiggly Pom, Honey, I hold her on my lap and pull her head around as this seems to control her better.  Here I am bracing my hand with my ring and little finger. Bracing the hand holding the tool is essential to making controlled movements with the tool.

 The first time I do their teeth, it takes at least an hour or more to get most of their teeth done.  I work slowly and get them positioned before scraping. I stop and move the tool away from their face if they start to squirm.  Lots of breaks and lots of goodies and lots of "Oh what a good boy/girl you are". 

I also use a piece of Kleenex to hold back the corner of the mouth when working on back teeth, especially on the little mutts.  If the teeth have heavy plaque, their gums will bleed a bit when scraped. I use the tissue to dab the area so I can see what I am doing and remove chunks of plaque. 
short clip showing teeth cleaning