Gum disease and tooth decay can be just as much an issue for dogs as they are for people. Because of this, caring for your pup's teeth is important when caring for your companion's overall health. Here, our Cincinnati vets share tips and advice on keeping your pet's mouth healthy.
Is dog dental care really necessary?
Like your own oral health, your dog's dental health is essential to their overall health. But many dogs will develop dental issues quite young, causing long-term consequences for their health and wellbeing.
At-home oral health care routines paired with dental treats can go a long way to helping your pup to clean their teeth, as well as helping to control the buildup of plaque and tartar. Nonetheless, the best way to ensure that your dog’s mouth stays clean and healthy is to take your pooch to the vet for an annual dental exam and hygiene cleaning.
What will happen during my dog's dental care appointment?
To help prevent your dog from developing periodontal disease and tooth decay, our Hyde Park Veterinary Clinic vets advise bringing your pup in for a dental appointment at least once per year and more frequently if they are suffering from recurring or more severe oral health issues.
When you bring your dog to us, our vets will perform a full oral examination for your pooch and check for signs of dental issues, such as:
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding around the mouth
- Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
- Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Loose or broken teeth
- Bad breath
Our vets assess all pets to ensure that they are healthy enough to handle anesthesia and conduct additional diagnostics if required to ensure that a dental exam while sedated is safe for your pet. Once your pet is safely sedated, we will perform a full oral exam (tooth-by-tooth) complete with charting, (just like your dentist does during your examinations).
While we have your dog safely and comfortably under anesthesia, our team will thoroughly clean and polish your pup's teeth, both above and below the gum line. We probe and x-ray the teeth, then to help protect against future decay and damage we use a fluoride treatment before applying a dental sealant to prevent plaque buildup.
If your pup is suffering from advanced periodontal disease, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan to help restore your dog's mouth to a pain-free and healthy state.
Should I brush my dog's teeth?
As a pet owner, you play a key role in helping your dog fight dental disease and oral health issues. Here are a couple of ways you can help:
- Use a finger brush or a child’s toothbrush to brush your pet’s teeth daily to remove debris or plaque
- Use a plaque prevention product. These products act as a barrier to prevent plaque buildup.
- Offer your pup treats such as dental chews or food designed to help prevent plaque buildup and tartar.
Dental care is an important part of your pet's overall health. Be sure to book your pet's annual dental appointment today, your dog will thank you.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.