Your pet’s teeth are as important as your own. However, since your furbaby cannot become responsible for their own dental care, it falls to you as their owner to do everything you can to maintain their oral health and wellbeing. Doing so will help to prevent problems such as decay, damage, and periodontal disease.
Here are our top tips to help you to take care of your pet’s teeth and ensure that they remain in the best possible condition for years to come.
Brushing your pet’s teeth
The thought of brushing your pet’s teeth may seem silly, but it is actually the best way to get rid of plaque which is responsible for causing cavities and gum disease. The latter is particularly important since it is a gum disease that evolves into periodontal disease – a very common inflammatory condition amongst animals that causes infection, tooth loss, bone loss and increases their risk of other health conditions including diabetes mellitus, heart problems and more. By removing the plaque, you dramatically reduce your pet’s risk of developing these conditions.
Choose a toothbrush – a human or animal variety will do – and a veterinary toothpaste since human versions are poisonous for pets. Your vet will be happy to talk to you about which brushing techniques are best and before long, you will be able to train your pet to have their teeth brushed in the same way that they have their nails trimmed.
Dental treats are a great way to improve the dental health of your pet. They are specially designed with ingredients that are good for their teeth and mouth and are abrasive so that they perform an action similar to brushing when your pet chews them. There are lots of different flavors and varieties available, making it easy to find one that suits your furbaby. For the highest quality dental treats, look for those with the VOHC seal of approval.
Dental chews and general chew toys
Chewing is very good for your pet’s oral health. This is because chewing stimulates their natural production of saliva, which neutralizes any acids and helps to wash away bacteria and food particles before plaque can form. Dental chews contain ingredients that are good for your pet’s teeth (see above), but any sort of chew is beneficial. The gnawing will also scrape plaque off of your pet’s teeth in a manner that is similar to brushing, and chewing will stimulate their brain and prevent them from becoming bored.
Professional dental cleaning
Most veterinarians recommend that you bring your pet in for a professional dental cleaning at least once each year. This is normally carried out under a general anesthetic, ensuring your pet remains completely still. This makes it far safer and negates any risk associated with a general anesthetic. Your vet will professionally clean your pet’s teeth and check for any issues such as cavities, breaks, loose teeth and more. Treatment may then be able to be administered there and then.
If you would like more advice on the best way to take care of your pet’s teeth, please contact our offices and let our experienced team assist you.