After eating a meal, it only takes 6 hours for plaque to start developing and covering the tooth’s surface. Plaque eventually turns to calculus which is harder to remove and can cause bacterial infections in the mouth. This bacteria may spread through the bloodstream to the liver, kidneys, heart, and brain. Dental disease is seen in over 90% of the patients we see and regular brushing/cleaning is the key to preventing periodontal disease, oral pain tooth loss, oral odors, and systemic disease. If you notice your pet has stinky breath, discolored or dirty teeth, or is having any trouble eating, a thorough oral exam should be done by your veterinarian.
At Pet's Friend Animal Clinic, we recommend brushing your pet’s teeth daily. According to research, brushing your pet’s teeth a minimum of 5 days per week is considered effective, but anything is better than nothing! If you are unable to brush your pet’s teeth regularly, it is even more important that they have a thorough oral exam with a veterinarian minimally once a year.
Pet Dental Tooth Brushes
There are several different kinds of tooth brushes and the one that is appropriate for your pet will depend on their comfort level with teeth brushing. At Pet's Friend Animal Clinic and many pet stores, pet-specific tooth brushes (small and large) are available as well as finger brushes.
Getting them used to a brush or your finger in their mouth can be a challenge. Most pets are not used to us putting our fingers in their mouths, and when we do they can be alarmed and may get irritated. The key is slow, continual, repetition to get them more comfortable with it. Make sure you only use a pet-specific tooth paste! There are several flavors to choose from to accommodate your preference and pet’s taste buds! Remember, DO NOT use human tooth paste for your pets!
Pet Dental Precautions
We NEVER recommend anesthesia-free dental cleanings!! It can be very dangerous for your pet and cause more harm than good! It is not safe or possible to perform a complete dental cleaning, take important x-rays to properly evaluate tooth root health/ sub-gingival pockets/ bone density, or perform interventional treatments such as extractions and bonding. One of the most important areas in an animal’s mouth to clean is the sub-gingival pockets (under the gum line of all teeth.). On an awake animal, this is not comfortable or possible to do a thorough job.
At Pet's Friend Animal Clinic we take every safety precaution and require pre-anesthetic blood work to be done within 30 days of the scheduled anesthetic procedure. This helps us to be sure your pet is healthy enough to go under anesthesia and that all internal organ function is normal.
For more information, please feel free to call Pet's Friend Animal Clinic about any questions or concerns you may have at 408-739-2688.