Learn How Pet Dentistry Protects Your Pet's Health
Is your pet's breath less than desirable? A bad or foul smelling
odor is not just unpleasant – it may also by signs of an
undiagnosed oral health problem like gum disease. Regular pet dentistry
appointments are the best way to protect your pet’s oral health and
reduce the risk for gingivitis, periodontal disease, bacterial
infections and tooth loss.
3 At-Home Pet Dental Care Tips
Worried about your pet’s dental health? Keep reading to brush up on your pet dentistry knowledge and learn how to keep you pet healthy:
#1: Brush your pet’s teeth.
Good oral health is important at all stages of your pet’s life, and should start with puppy and kitten care. You should begin brushing your pet's teeth on a weekly basis at 8 weeks of age. Starting at a young age will make the process much easier when your pet's adult teeth come in. Help your pet acclimate to the brushings by putting a small amount of pet safe toothpaste (never use fluoride containing paste as it is toxic to pets) on your finger and running it over your pet’s gums.
Once your pet is comfortable with this, you can progress to using a
toothbrush. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle; this is the best angle
to remove plaque buildup and food debris from the gum line. Brush your
pet’s teeth as often as you are able but at least once per week.
#2: Choose dental-friendly food and treats.
Wet foods are more likely to stick to the gum line or become
caught in the teeth. If your pet eats a wet food diet, you may need to
brush more regularly than if your pet eats a dry food diet. At All Creatures Pet Hospital we offer specific dental diets that have been formulated to reduce the accumulation of plaque and tarter on your pet's teeth. We also carry dental chews and drinking water additives that contain enzymes and cleaners that breaks down plaque thus preventing the build up of tarter and calculus. Remember, however, that
even the best dental treats are no substitute for regular brushing.
#3: Schedule regular cleanings at an animal hospital.
While at-home care provides a strong foundation for your pet’s
oral health, only a professional cleaning can remove tartar. Our veterinarian, Dr Hankes, recommends annual cleanings at All Creatures Pet Hospital. During a cleaning we will scrape away tartar from the gum line and polish your pet’s teeth.
Take the "lift the lip test" and see what your pet's teeth look like. Of course Dr. Hankes will do this when your pet comes in for its wellness exams. If you see a yellow or brown accumulation of tarter and calculus, please schedule an appointment with the doctor so we can be sure your pet receives the dental care he/she needs.