Daily removal of plaque is the key to dental care. Unless you perform dental home care daily, plaque and bacteria will build up at the gum line. The plaque then is transformed into hard-to-remove calculus that irritates the gums. Infection follows, leading to gum inflammation and recession (shrinking) and eventually progressing to the point that the attachment of the tooth is loosened. In addition to loose teeth, the bacteria that cause dental disease can spread through blood to the liver, kidneys, and heart. In other words, poor dental care may lead to other health problems.
Dental home care can be very easy, and even a fun procedure. First pick a soft-bristled, finger toothbrush or soft cloth/gauze. Next, get animal toothpaste or oral rinse from your veterinarian. Do not use human toothpaste because it has ingredients that should not be swallowed by pets.
If calculus has accumulated as brown to grey yellow material at the gum line it can be very difficult to remove. This is the time to have your veterinarian check your pet’s mouth and determine if a professional cleaning is required. Don’t wait to have this done. As the tartar and bacteria accumulate, the gum recession and related problems will cause periodontitis and tooth loss. The teeth and surrounding tissue become painful and the teeth need to be extracted to relieve pain in your pet’s mouth. Your veterinarian cannot reverse this process once it is advanced.
The intervals between teeth cleaning procedures will depend on the individual pet, its diet, and how often you can perform homecare on your pets teeth. Daily cleaning is optimum. A consultation with your veterinarian may help determine whether your pet requires regular dental exams or cleanings, especially if early stages of disease are found.
A leading indicator of oral health problems is bad breath. Dogs and cats should not have terrible mouth odor. Bad breath comes from infection. If you notice bad oral odors, ask your veterinarian to examine your pet’s mouth and advise care.
As soon as puppy or kitten teeth emerge, it’s time to start good dental home care habits. Although baby teeth are replaced with adult teeth, the puppy or kitten gets used to the cleaning procedure, which continues for life.
Reasons why I should feed my pet a dental food?
- Promotes oral health for overall health.
- Works like a toothbrush to protect against gingivitis and fight bacteria in pet’s mouths.
- Reduces gingivitis and accumulation of both plaque and tartar
- Contains a high level of clinically proven antioxidants to help promote a healthy immune system.