James R. Speiser, DVM, DABVP, CCRT, RSO
March 8, 2018
Dental care is a daily ritual for us, and it should be for your pet too. Brushing and flossing your pet's teeth is not only good for them, but can also extend their life. Poor dental health can be associated with valvular heart disease, kidney disease, joint disease, nasal conditions and many other health issues, so it's important to make sure to take care of your pet's teeth every day!
There are many ways that you can help care for your pet's dental health, including offering them special treats or manually caring for their teeth with special products which can help reduce the bacterial count in the mouth, including things like:
Plaque Off dental bites which are a hard form of kibble which can help control damaging plaque.
Dental wipes, a special wipe which helps clean your pet's teeth and gums, freshens their breath and helps fight plaque build-up.
Medicated chews which can be fed to your dog like a treat to gel reduce plaque and calculus buildup which can lead to bad breath and other problems.
However, the best option is to brush your pet's teeth.
To do this, you'll need a toothbrush made for pets, and a a special pet dentifrice (toothpaste) that doesn't foam up and has a flavor that dogs like. Place a small amount of the paste on the toothbrush and brush their teeth using small circular motions paying attention not only to their teeth, but also the gums (watch the video at the top right to see Dr. Speiser teach Fox 59's Ray Cortopassi how to do this). This may sound like a difficult task, but since dogs enjoy the taste of the dentifrice, it's can actually be easier than it sounds.
With a little bit of effort and special attention, you can ensure your pet has healthy teeth and gums and help them to live a long life.