Taking care of your pet(s) teeth is just as important as taking care of your own. Preventative care helps maintain healthy teeth & gums.
There are several things you can do to help your pet(s) at home. If you have or planning on having a puppy or kitten, start handling the head so it can get used to being handled – just like playing with their feet so they get used to being handled for nail trims. Once it is comfortable with what you are doing, gradually introduce a soft bristled toothbrush. Gently massage the gums & teeth. After this step, introduce a pet based toothpaste (there are several flavors to experiment with). This technique is the most effective in taking care of the teeth & gums. Once the puppy or kitten accepts having their teeth brushed, she or he will be set for life.
However, if the above is not tolerated at all, you can consider some other options (i.e. water additives, chews, gels, whipes or treats). While water additives can be helpful the flavor may put off the pet(s) from drinking water. This option would be another technique that would need to be introduced early so the pet(s) would get used to it. Chews (DentaStix), chews, gels, whipes and treats help “scrub” the teeth.
Even with which ever option you choose to help keep your pet(s) teeth clean, she or he would still need to have a dental cleaning performed. Complete dentals for dogs & cats are very similar to what we have done for ourselves on a routine basis. During your pet(s) annual exam, her or his teeth are looked at and the veterinarian will determine if a cleaning needs to be done. Dentals usually start around 4-5 years old and can be done yearly if warranted. This service includes: a complete cleaning/scaling & full mouth x-rays. Dental disease is grated by 5 different levels.
There are many benefits of dental cleanings for the dog and cat.
Dental health is important for so many reasons and by keeping up on maintenance of your pet(s) teeth in between dentals and annual exams will help keep her/him on the right path for a long and healthy life.