Routine Dental Care
Your pet’s teeth are important to his or her overall health. Older cats and dogs frequently struggle with problematic oral health, causing expensive or painful problems. Disease and decay and affect your pet’s ability to eat and could cause dangerous infections. Poor dental health will also result in bad pet breath.
Daily Plaque Reduction
Your pet’s teeth will stay cleaner if you provide chew toys and dental treats for them to gnaw on. Most pet owners want to treat their pets regularly, so look for bacteria-killing dental chews that will improve health and spoil your pet.
Wipe Teeth 2-3 Times a Week
A few times a week you can reduce disease and kill odor-causing bacteria will concentrated dental pads. These pads are pre-soaked in dental solutions that can be wiped on your pet’s teeth. They are very easy to use and mess-free. The effective chlorhexidine solution removes bacteria from the teeth that would lead to plaque.
Your pet may not like getting his or her teeth brushed, but there is no better way to dislodge food particles and remove plaque buildup. A tarter control toothpaste can be purchased in a variety of flavors your pet will love to improve the brushing experience. You can use disposable toothbrushes, finger brushes and dental sponges to use on your pet’s teeth. To get your pet comfortable with the brushing process:
Desensitize: Start slowly by holding your pet’s head steady and petting his or her muzzle. Slowly lift the lips to expose the teeth. Continue “desensitizing” your pet by touching the teeth, talking calmly and working in short sessions (30 seconds or less is fine). Use this process the first week and provide a treat at the end – don’t attempt to brush, only desensitize at this point.
Make it Positive: In the second week, use your fingers to rub your pet’s teeth for about a minute. You can dip your fingers in beef juice or tuna to make the experience rewarding for your pet. Provide a treat at the end of the session with praise so your pet enjoys the routine.
Start Cleaning: Once your pet has been comfortable with your fingertips in his or her mouth, change to a fingertip brush or dental pad for a natural transition. You can gently wipe of your pets teeth and then praise with a treat at the end so your pet continues to enjoy the teeth brushing routine. Stay consistent with your routine to help your pet stay comfortable with it.
You will want to take your pet in to the vet for a dental check up at least once a year. During a vet cleaning, your pet will undergo anesthesia so each and every tooth can be carefully cleaned. Smaller pets will generally require more frequent professional cleanings. Older pets may also need additional dental care – especially if their teeth were not well cared for earlier in life. Call us today to schedule a dental exam for your pet!