Starting Good Dental Habits Early Cat and Dog Teeth Cleaning

By Tamara Kees

Brushing your pet’s teeth is the first step for dental care for your pet.

Good pet dental care is as important for our pets as it is for us, and starting early makes it a healthy habit your dog or cat is far more likely to tolerate!

Cat & Dog Teeth Cleaning is Important! Good Pet Dental Care Will Help Keep Your Pet Healthy!!!

For puppies and kittens, starting out with quick sessions can be a good way to gently introduce the idea of brushing. Using tuna juice or pet toothpaste on a little piece of gauze with your finger at first, and then working up to a toothbrush as your pet gets used to the concept is a good, gradual way to go. Rewarding with a lot of praise and treats also positively reinforces the experience! Brushing only really needs to be done for about 30 seconds each side, in 5-10 second chunks. The sides of the teeth facing the cheek are what you primarily should focus on, since the tongue constantly rubs that inner surface of the teeth. Brushing every day is optimal, but even brushing 3 times a week will make a huge difference in oral health. With practice, consistency, and patience, many pets come to tolerate brushing very well—and some really enjoy it! Continue…

The Benefits of Oravet Chews

Dental care is very important in our four legged-friends. The best way to keep your pet’s teeth white and sparkling clean is to brush their teeth daily (or several times a week if possible). The brushing action allows breakup of dental tartar on the teeth and many enzymatic veterinary approved toothpastes aid in tartar breakup as well. The problem is that maintaining a routine of oral hygiene for some dogs and cats can be a difficult or nearly impossible task.

To better understand the benefit of these chews, let me first explain the fundamentals of dental disease. Dental disease or periodontal disease refers to the health of the teeth (above and below the gum line), gums, and bone surrounding the teeth. When dogs eat, bacteria attach to the teeth and form plaque. Saliva and food supply nutrients for the bacteria to proliferate. This in turn causes bad breath and can cause a white/yellow biofilm on the teeth. Over time (within 72 hours), this plaque mineralizes and forms a yellow or brown hard substance on the teeth called calculus or tartar. Tartar won’t come off with brushing; it needs to be removed manually by a veterinarian. Both plaque and calculus formation can lead to bad breath and disease of the gums.

 

Oravet dental chews are moderately firm and help to break down plaque and clean the teeth as your dog chews. The leading ingredient, delmopinol, creates a barrier to protect against plaque, calculus build up, and bad breath. These chews do contain grain and soy, so they may not be appropriate for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Also, if your dog has any loose teeth, these chews should not be used because they could cause trauma to the loose teeth. Some dogs have been reported to have green stools due to the alfalfa in the chews. However, besides the shocking color, this has not caused any problems. Ask your veterinarian today if Oravet Dental Chews are right for your dog!

Why Get Your Pet in for a Dental?

By: Dr. Groenewg, DVM

Pet Dental Procedure - Fairgrounds Animal HospitalMost pets have some degree of dental disease as early as age 2. Dental disease is the number 1 disease in dogs and cats, as it is so common in our pets. However, dental disease is often overlooked by owners, especially when it is at its mild stage.

How does dental disease occur? Disease starts by bacteria attaching to the edge of the enamel and forming a biofilm, or a microscopic meshwork of bacteria, within a day. This is called plaque. The tartar that you see on your pet’s teeth, is the secondary step of that plaque becoming calcified. Disease starts when that plaque gets up under the gums and creates an infection; seen as a slightly more red line along the edge of the gums where they meet the teeth. Left alone, this is a chronic infection in your pets mouth and will overtime cause worsening signs like bone and gum recession. This causes the roots of the tooth to be exposed. The roots are very sensitive and when exposed to disease, hot or cold temperatures, etc. It can be very painful for your pet.

This isn’t all. Studies have shown that even a mild chronic infection has influences on the rest of the body. Dental disease left alone can lead to other diseases such as liver disease, bone infections, heart disease, and arthritis, and has been shown to have a connection with Diabetes. Providing dental care to your pet can improve overall function of other organs and create an overall healthier animal.

It is important to note that small breeds are not the same as large breeds. Genetically, they are more predisposed to dental disease. At 1 year of age, many small breeds already have some bone loss from dental disease. It is important to get them in yearly for dental cleanings. Cats are also different than dogs and can have different disease processes in their mouths, so it is important not to forget about your cat’s mouth.

When you take your pet in to get their dental done, a deep cleaning is performed with an ultrasonic cleaner. This removes calculus and the plaque both above and below the gum line. It is important to get under the gum line to the tartar that we cannot see, as this is where dental disease starts.
You can learn what to expect for your pets dental consultation here and  what a dental procedure looks like from start to finish here.

 

 

Why You Should Care About Pet Dental Care

Pet Dental Care - Fairgrounds Animal HospitalDid You Know….

Dental disease is the number one health issue in pets, affecting 80% of dogs and 70% of cats. This is not surprising considering that most owners do not have a regular pet dental care routine.

Why Should You Care?

Poor oral hygiene doesn’t just cause bad breath; it can lead to tooth loss, painful abscesses, difficulty eating and other health problems including heart disease. A good pet dental care routine will keep help keep your pet healthy overall. Continue…