Phone: (404) 252-9200 | Fax: (404) 252-0490
Rebecca Kestle, DVM
Dental Care for Dogs - Cliftwood Animal Hospital
Dental Care for Dogs

Dental Care for Dogs

What else can I do to keep my dog’s teeth clean?

Brushing your dog’s teeth is just as important in preventing dental disease as brushing your own. Ideally your pet should get used to having its teeth cleaned from an early age. Wrapping a piece of soft gauze around your finger and gently rubbing the dog’s teeth should get it used to the idea. You can then move on to using a toothbrush specially designed for cats or a small ordinary toothbrush with soft bristles. Toothbrushes which fit over the end of your finger are available for dogs and cats. Your vet can supply you with suitably flavored toothpaste which your pet will enjoy. There are also some mouth washes and antibacterial gels that can help reduce plaque deposits and prevent infection. Do not attempt to use human toothpaste which will froth up in the mouth, your dog will not like the taste and it could do it serious harm.

What if my dog doesn’t like having its teeth brushed?

At first your dog may resist but with gentleness, patience and persistence most pets can be trained to accept having their teeth cleaned. A regular brushing every day or at least three times a week will significantly reduce the risk of your pet suffering serious problems or needing frequent general anesthetics to treat advanced dental disease.

Preventative healthcare for your dog is very important. Regular brushing of your dog’s teeth from a young age can prevent the need for veterinary dental attention.

Dental disease is very common in cats and dogs. Surveys show that after the age of three years, about seven out of ten pets have some kind of tooth disorders. If left unattended these may cause irreversible damage to the cat’s teeth, gums and jaw bones. Dental disease can be prevented by stopping the build-up of plaque.

How do I know if my pet has bad teeth?

Plaque is a yellowish white deposit made up of bacteria and debris which forms around the surface of the teeth. In time it hardens to become yellowish brown tartar (sometimes called calculus) at the base of the tooth which gradually spreads until it may cover the whole of its surface. As well as the visible tartar there may be other indications of disease. Foul breath is very common and the pain resulting from advanced dental disease may cause difficulties in eating. If your cat dribbles excessively and sometimes this is flecked with blood or shows signs of pain and discomfort such as head shaking and pawing at its mouth it may have problems with its teeth.

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