Malocclusion. The word that strikes dread into the hearts of chinchilla owners. It is the bane of the domestic chinchilla's life and is a hotly debated topic on forums worldwide.
Malocclusion is a dental diagnosis that encompasses just about any tooth and jaw ailment, whether it be misalignment, uneven wearing, overgrown surface areas, elongated roots, or tooth and jaw related abscesses.
This one (below) has "issues". Notice the lack of straight line between upper and lower teeth at the grinding surfaces with elongated roots growing into the eye and nasal cavities and into the lower jaw bone.
In the wild, chinchillas have unlimited access to a variety of chewing and eating options. This allows the chin to naturally choose the kinds and types of tooth wearing activities they happen to need. Teeth grow an average of 2-3 inches per year, so it is essential that they have plenty of opportunity to keep that growth in check. Hay and grasses offer the kinds of fiber needed to work the molars and cheek teeth. Wood, sticks and volcanic stones (chew toys) offer a workout for the incisors.
With this in mind, we've designed and made available lots of options in our store to help you help your chin keep his or her teeth and gums strong and healthy. While feed pellets are generally considered a "soft" food, we're excited to announce our newest item; Show Hutch Deluxe, an extruded (extra hard) feed pellet. And don't forget the chew toys, hay and rose hips!