Just like we take care of our teeth, we need to take care of our pet’s teeth as well. From home care to professional cleaning—here are some things you should know.
Daily brushing at home is the gold standard. You can use a toothpaste formulated for pets--they come in a variety of pet-friendly flavors such as poultry, beef and seafood. These pastes have enzymes that help break down plaque on your pet’s teeth. You can use a small toothbrush, fingerbrush or even just a gauze pad to brush your cat or dog’s teeth.
Start this process slowly and reward your pet with their favorite treat for cooperating.
Can’t brush? There are mouth rinses, gels and sprays that help prevent tartar. Even just wiping your pets teeth with a special dentil wipe or cloth can help.
Try treats. Special chews and treats are designed to help remove tartar. There is also a prescription diet available from your veterinarian that has been proven to reduce tartar buildup. Make sure to look for the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) seal of approval so you know the product has been through clinical trials and is proven to work.
Even with daily brushing your pet may still require a professional dental cleaning by a veterinarian. In order to perform a thorough examination and cleaning, your pet will need to go under general anesthesia. The teeth will be scaled and polished, just like when you go to the dentist.
After the dental procedure is the perfect time to start home dental care, to prevent tartar from building up again. Remember, it’s important to take care of your pets teeth. If left untreated, dental disease and gingivitis can lead to tooth loss and pain and can affect the internal organs such as the kidneys and heart.