Doc, Why Does My Pet Need A Dental Cleaning?

You may have been told at some point that your pet could benefit from a dental cleaning. Why? The teeth of dogs and cats are made up of the same materials that human teeth are made of. Additionally, unlike humans, most pets do not brush their teeth every day. Therefore, it is important to get your pet’s mouth and teeth examined and cleaned regularly by your veterinarian in addition to instituting a home dental plan to prevent the need for as many dental cleanings throughout your pet’s life. Tartar is a substance which is made up of bacteria and sits on the tooth surface. After a few days, that tartar calcifies and becomes calculus. Calculus cannot be removed from the tooth except with special dental equipment, which is why pets require dentals at the vet’s office. If the tartar and calculus are allowed to sit on the tooth surface, this can lead to irritation and inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). Unless the tartar or calculus is removed from the tooth, this cycle of inflammation and accumulation of bacteria will continue. … Continue readingDoc, Why Does My Pet Need A Dental Cleaning?

You Want Me To What?

Helpful Definitions: Plaque: The film that accumulates on the teeth throughout the day, even with diligent brushing. Colorless, composed of bacteria. Tartar (also known as calculus): Hardening of the bacterial film (plaque) on the surface of the tooth. Must be removed with special tools during the time of a dental cleaning. Can be partially broken down by certain compounds found in dental diet/treats and toothpaste. Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums as a result of plaque and tartar accumulation near or under the gum line (where the tooth meets the gum). So…Last time, we talked about getting your pet’s teeth cleaned by your vet under general anesthesia as a way to treat any infection or inflammation that might be present. At that time, we also talked about devising an at-home veterinary oral care plan to help prevent the recurrence of inflammation, and its ensuing progression to periodontal disease. So what might this plan look like? First and foremost, brushing your pet’s teeth with a pet-specific toothpaste is by far and away the most effective means of preventing accumulation of tartar by … Continue readingYou Want Me To What?

How On Earth Do You Brush A Dog or Cat’s Teeth?!?

Our most recent discussion involved the importance of at-home dental care, including brushing your pet’s teeth regularly, at an interval established by your veterinarian. This home care plan also included providing appropriate dental treats and chews, as recommended by your vet. You may be saying to yourself, “I know how to get my pet to eat a treat, but how in the world to I brush their teeth?” Have no fear! These simple steps will help get your pet comfortable with the tooth brushing experience. It just takes a little time and TLC! Remember, you can’t explain to your pet that brushing their teeth is good for their health. They simply see it as you attacking their mouth with a scary brush thingy. So take your time, and go just as slowly as your pet needs you to go. Every pet will be at a different starting point, so begin wherever you feel your pet will be most comfortable. Don’t move forward until your pet is absolutely ready. If at any point, you encounter resistance or frustration, stop and back … Continue readingHow On Earth Do You Brush A Dog or Cat’s Teeth?!?