|Brushing your pet’s teeth is a critical part in overall health for all pets, yet it is unfortunately overlooked by many. Without adequate home dental care many pets will develop plaque on their teeth and gum inflammation that can lead to significant periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can also lead to infections or problems in other areas of the body, including the heart, liver and kidneys. That is why it so critical to attempt to implement a pet dental program at home.|
Below are a few tips to help encourage proper dental care in your pet:
1. Familiarize your pet with a toothbrush
First an animal guardian can begin by simply letting their pet smell or lick the tooth brush in order to get used to it. If possible, let the pet put the tooth brush into their mouths before you attempt to brush them.
2. Try brush stroke movements
Then one can use either index finger or empty tooth brush across their pets gums and teeth in an up and down motion to get their pets used to having something put in their mouths.
3. Use only a toothpaste formulated for pets
Once they are used to that, you can try adding toothpaste, like the one included in the C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Kit. Brush along the sides and front of the teeth as best as possible for up to a few minutes. It’s important to only use a toothpaste formulated for pets – never use human toothpaste.
If possible I recommend doing this at least 3 to 4 times weekly if not daily. If you have problems with this a veterinarian or veterinary technician can show you how to do this right in the office. For those pets who are just too difficult to brush there are other products such as Vetz Life, Maxiguard, and Oxyfresh which do not require physically brushing and can help reduce bacteria and plaque in the mouth. There are also some excellent dental treats available that can also have a cleansing effect on the teeth.
Posted by: Posted by Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian