Thanks to all the new preventive medicine we can rely on, our pets live longer, healthier lives, so much so that now a number of the very acute medical issues pets can have are related to their dental health. Fixing our pet’s teeth regularly may make a massive difference in their health and well-being. By regularly, I mean every day but don’t worry, as soon as you get a hang of it, it shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes. Remember, however, that even if you provide them daily house cleaning, you should always take your pet to the vet at least once every year for a complete checkup, and when necessary, professional teeth cleaning.
Dogs and cats do not get cavities frequently, if at all, however, they do get gum disease, and tartar can build up too on the teeth. That is the main reason to supply great dental care. Plaque is formed when food particles and bacteria collect along the gumlines. If plaque is not removed in 2 to 5 days, it transforms into tartar, which has stuck to the teeth and it’s not as easy to eliminate. Tartar irritates the gums, which is what causes gingivitis. You should check for reddening of the gums around your teeth and bad breath.
Once tartar has developed, the cleaning needs to be done by your veterinarian that will remove the tartar and then polish the teeth. Once the tartar builds up under the gums, then it causes a separation of the teeth from the teeth and strains openings, where even more germs can grow. At this point, they have developed periodontal disease. Apart from being very painful, this may lead to tooth reduction, abscesses, and infections. Only your veterinarian can stop the advance or block the disease.
Thus, what type of dental care should you provide your pets?
Take your pet to the vet for regular checkups, which should include dental exams. Have their teeth cleaned by the vet at least once, then follow routine home dental hygiene. As I’ve said, your pet requires routine dental hygiene at home, but for a good beginning, the teeth should be sterile. If you’ve been taking good care of the teeth because they were babies, maybe you’re in fine shape, but odds are you have neglected their teeth for a while.
Should they’ve developed tartar, it would be important to get it removed by a vet. To perform a cleaning, your veterinarian will anesthetize your furry friend, take x-rays, and move with the cleaning. Afterward, their teeth will probably be polished to remove any scratches caused by the cleaning to avoid the accumulation of bacteria. Then the vet will tell you the best dental hygiene plan for your pet.
Now that their teeth are clean, you ought to begin looking for warning signs in their mouths: bad breath, red and swollen gums, tartar around the gum line, and pain or bleeding when you touch the gums or mouth.
Let us begin with the meals. Kibble is unquestionably better for the pet’s dental health. Many foods have special properties to keep their teeth clean as possible. There are also many treats you can give them that will aid in removing plaque and prevent plaque build-up, in addition to toys made specifically to assist in plaque removal.
When they eat the correct kinds of food and perform the ideal toys, then you want to brush their teeth daily. This is the most important preventive measure you can take.
How to brush your dog’s teeth:
To begin with, you need to get him accustomed to the procedure if you have not done it before. Start by gently massaging his teeth and gums for a couple of seconds and see how he responds. When the fusses, do not induce him and try again the following moment. In three or four tries, he must be accustomed to your finger in his mouth, and that means now you can progress to a brush. There are various kinds of brushes for dogs at your pet shop, and if it’s a little dog, you might try with a piece of sterile gauze.
There is also particular toothpaste for dogs that have yummy tastes like liver or poultry. Never use human toothpaste! Look closely at the huge teeth in the back. Do not worry too much about the inside, but pay special attention to the surface of the teeth. You can do a couple of teeth a day if he does not enjoy the process a lot at first. Eventually, he will sit tight for the entire cleaning and you’ll be able to do it in a couple of minutes.
How to brush your cat’s teeth:
Again, you have to get your cat used to the feel of your finger in her mouth. Start simply massaging her teeth and gums for a couple of minutes every day. There are particular brushes for cats, but employing a sheet of gauze is extremely effective. In case the size of the cat will allow it, then you can use one of those plastic”finger brushes” made especially for cats or dogs. I personally find them large for the size of my cats’ mouths. You also don’t have to worry too much about the inside but do pay special attention to the outside surface of the teeth. Do buy the flavored toothpaste at a yummy carrot taste for them… or anything else they prefer. Your vet can also suggest a special sterile solution for cats.
If you do not have anything else handy, you can use a mixture of baking soda and water, but hardly any. Of course, if you receive your cat accustomed to her teeth cleaning when she’s a kitten, the job will be a lot easier, but you can find any cat used for them with patience and love. If you discover that it’s impossible, you’ll need to take her to a vet to get her teeth cleaned. Do not put this off!! There are places in which they will do it for little money if you’ve got financial difficulties. Just remember they are dependent upon you because of their health.
Comprehensive Dental Care
Regular pet dental care is an integral part of a dog’s and cat’s oral and general health, however, many pets are not able to obtain the veterinary dental care that they require to maintain their gums and teeth healthy.
At our Tracy vets hospital, we offer complete dental care for the pet, from principles such as dental exams, teeth cleanings, and polishing, to dental x-rays.
We’re also enthusiastic about dental health education about home dental care for pet owners.
Our veterinary staff at Paws & Claws Veterinary Hospital offers restorative and preventative dental care and surgery for dogs and cats in the Tracy area. Click here for more information.