Promoting Healthy Teeth Daily
There are several ways to keep your dog or cat’s teeth healthy between visits to your pet dentist for animal teeth cleaning.
Feed your pet kibble instead of semi-solid or wet food. The dry kibble cleans his teeth when it breaks into small particles as it is chewed to scrub teeth and gums.
Provide your dog or cat with chew toys. The act of chewing on something, especially long periods at a time, scrapes plaque and dirt away from his teeth and gums to promote a healthy mouth.
Look for dental chews for your pet with the “VOHC-approved” stamp on them. These products meet the teeth cleaning standards of the Veterinary Oral Health Council and are helpful in removing unwanted buildup of food or plaque from teeth and gums.
Daily Tooth Brushing
Cats and dogs should ideally have their teeth brushed daily to obtain good oral hygiene. You should start when your pet is very young, so they accept this as part of a daily routine. If you can’t brush their teeth daily, try for at least several times a week. Purchase toothpaste formulated for your dog or cat at a pet store. They are made with chicken or beef flavoring to be palatable to pets. Choose a pet toothbrush and place a small bead of the pet toothpaste on it. Let your pet lick it off and enjoy the flavor. Start by brushing the front teeth with gentle circular motions and move to the rear as your pet allows you. It can take some patience and time to get your pet acclimated to this new idea.
Pet Mouth Examination
A close examination of your pet’s mouth, teeth and gums can alert you to a problem requiring a visit to your pet hospital for dental issues. The first sign of tooth decay is when your pet has a gum condition, such as gingivitis is his breath. If your pet’s mouth has a very strong or foul odor, he needs to see your veterinarian. Lifting your pet’s lips gently allows examining his gums. The gums should be pink and firm. Abnormal gums are white, red or swollen. The teeth should not have brown tartar on them and teeth should not be loose or broken.
These signs are an indication that your pet needs to see his dentist:
Difficulty chewing food
Pawing at his mouth
Red, swollen gums
White Ulcers on his tongue or gums
Pus anywhere in the mouth
A dark red line along the gum line
At the first sign of swelling, take your pet to your veterinarian to treat gum disease so he can retain his teeth, be able to eat kibble and live a happy and healthy lifestyle.