Oral hygiene is a very important aspect of a pet’s overall health. As we discussed in our previous blog, The Importance of Pet Dental Cleanings, dental disease can contribute to a variety of other systemic health problems over time. We cannot overemphasize the importance of preventative dental care, which starts with regular ‘at home’ care. In this month’s blog, we discuss simple at-home tips to prevent dental disease.
Here are our At Home Tips:
- Know the signs of dental disease- Signs of dental disease include, but are not limited to, excessive tartar accumulation, red or irritated gums, cracked teeth, loose teeth, bad breath, drooling, painful (or bleeding) gums, and refusal or inability to eat and drink.
Learn more about the signs of dental disease and the importance of Pet Dental cleanings in our previous blog, The Importance of Pet Dental Cleanings.
- Brush your pet’s teeth- Just as with your own teeth, nothing beats brushing. The fibers of the toothbrush are able to reach between teeth and under gums to pick out tiny deposits of food. A toothbrush acts as a tiny scrub brush for the closest possible cleaning. Studies have shown that brushing three times a week was adequate to maintain healthy teeth and gums but daily brushing was needed to
control existing gingivitis.
- Feed your pet quality food. – Feeding your pet high-quality food is a super simple and effective way to keep your pet’s teeth clean and healthy. The abrasive texture of dry food can scrape tartar from teeth, some pet food brands are specifically formulated for preventing plaque buildup. If you are unsure on which pet food to purchase for your pet, speak with one of our Veterinarians at your pet’s next appointment, or schedule one here. Our Veterinarians, Dr. Jonathan Block and Dr. Melanie Thomas can recommend a food designed to suit all of your pet’s specific needs, including oral health.
- Use veterinary-approved dental products- Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) approved products are always going to be the best choice for your pet. The VOHC recognizes products that meet pre-set standards of plaque and tartar retardation in dogs and cats. Dental treats, wipes, and water additives are another way to help prevent gum disease in dogs. At West Delray Veterinary one of our favorite dental products is Vetradent. Vetradent Dental Wipes are formulated to control tartar by working against bacteria and altering the environment in the pet’s oral cavity. They make it easy to remove tartar build-up and bacterial growth.
- Take your pet in for regular oral exams and cleanings.- Even with frequent brushing sessions, pets need to have their teeth professionally cleaned once a year. During the veterinary dental cleaning, your pet will rest comfortably under sedation as the veterinarian completes a comprehensive oral exam. Your pet’s teeth will be ultrasonically cleaned, polished and full mouth oral radiographs will be performed to further evaluate your pet’s oral health. This helps prevent your pet from having to deal with any painful dental conditions, as they would likely go undetected otherwise.
Click here to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Jonathan Block or Dr. Melanie Thomas for your pet’s dental cleaning.
It is easy to miss early signs of dental disease. Stay ahead of any potential problems by adding these at-home tips to your daily routine. Your efforts will help contribute to the health, well-being, and longevity of your furry family members!