AT HOME DENTAL CARE
While you cannot fully address dental disease & remove tartar without anesthetic dental procedures. There are several things you can do to help prevent many issues from developing:
By far the most effective thing you can do to help prevent tartar, gingivitis, & many other forms of dental disease is daily tooth brushing. This is performed with a soft bristled toothbrush, or a “finger” brush & toothpaste made especially for pets. Toothpaste for pets is safe if swallowed & comes in many appetizing flavors.
** DO NOT use human toothpaste or mouthwash! **
The food you feed your pet also affects their dental health. Pets fed a dry kibble generally have less plaque & tartar build up, thus less dental disease, than those who are fed canned/wet diets. If your pet has a medical condition where canned/wet food or a specific prescription diet is recommended, this should be discussed with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pets diet. Prescription dental diets are especially helpful in decreasing plaque/tartar build up. They are significantly more effective than over the counter diets. We recommend Hills Science Diet T/D. Please note that most dental diets utilize larger sized kibble as this helps remove the plaque. Water additives are of minimal value in the prevention & treatment of dental disease.
We also recommend dental treats for both dogs & cats. Many of these are available over the counter and accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)
DO NOT GIVE YOUR DOG BUTCHER BONES, HARD RAWHIDES ANTLERS, BULLY STICKS, NYLABONES, HOOFS OR HORNS!!
These chews may break your pet’s teeth & are not easily digestible!
If you can’t indent the treat with your thumb, it may be too hard for your pet’s teeth.
Common signs of dental disease issues are:
- Bad breath
- Trouble chewing or biting food
- Chewing on one side of the mouth
- Abnormal jaw movement when eating
- Excessive drooling
- Anorexia/weight loss
- Swelling or redness of the gums
- Depressed, red or darkened areas of the tooth surface (crown)
- Pain when being touched around the face & mouth
How Do I Start Brushing My Pet’s Teeth?
It’s best to start as soon as possible! Getting a puppy/kitten used to brushing teeth is easier than an older pet.
Start slow and try to make it a positive experience with your pet. We recommend finding a toothpaste flavor that they like and having them lick it off your finger or toothbrush when you first begin. As your pet becomes more comfortable with the brush, begin to brush one tooth or quadrant at a time. Remember there is no need to do the whole mouth immediately!
After, try to give a high reward treat that is special to teeth brushing. This way they will look forward to the brushing and may even remind you.
Depending on your pet’s temperament, this may be a slow process but try to not get discouraged. We recommend you brush their teeth as often as you can. Whether this is twice a day or twice a year. Every bit can help!
We currently offer non-anesthetic dentals here as well, however we do book out about 6 months to 1 year due to the high demand for this service. This visit is similar to when you get your teeth cleaned at your dentist’s office and is best for dogs with mild dental disease. The dental hygienist uses a scalar to remove tartar and plaque, but he cannot remove any teeth that have cavities or are mobile. This dental option is best for young pets or pets that have already had bad teeth extracted. If you have any questions on pricing for anesthetic or non-anesthetic dentals please ask our amazing staff at the front desk!
If you are unable to brush your pets’ teeth there are also medicated wipes that can be wrapped around your finger & rubbed on your pets’ teeth & gums. There is also a mouth spray that can help reduce the bacteria in the mouth & help with bad breath.