Godspeed_iStock_000009963933_Large (2)Cleaning your pet’s teeth may rank below scooping litter or trimming nails on the excitement-o-meter, but keeping your pet’s dental health on the back burner can cost you both. Beyond all the wonderful benefits associated with adopting a new dental care regimen (bad breath, be gone!), keeping your pet’s pearly whites healthy may extend your precious pet’s life as much as two years.

If you’re new to the notion of pet dental health and care, read on to learn what matters and why.

Take it From the Top

Like most cumulative illnesses, preventing dental disease and its resulting consequences is key to protecting your pet’s health and longevity. To promote a longer, healthier life, pet owners need to prevent the development of periodontal disease.

Like us, when plaque and tartar accumulate in the oral cavity, tooth and gum disease will invariably follow. Unlike many pet illnesses, however; detecting changes in your pet’s dental health is not difficult. If your pet is experiencing any of the following, it’s time to give us a call:

  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Discolored, missing, broken, or loose teeth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chewing difficulty
  • Inflamed or bleeding gums
  • Excessive drooling
  • Pawing at the face
  • Dropping food
  • A change in preference from dry to wet food

A majority of pets over age three have periodontal disease in one stage or another (ranging from stage 1 gingivitis, to stage 4 tooth removal) and infections, which can lead to:

  • Bone loss around the teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Nasal discharge
  • Jaw fractures

And, as if this wasn’t frightening enough, periodontal disease in pets can be linked to diabetes, certain cancers, and systemic illnesses, such as kidney, liver, or heart disease.

A+ For Pet Dental Health – At Home Practice

Luckily, there is a lot you can do for your pet to sidestep such a painful possible fate, and it all starts at home. Getting into a tooth brushing routine may seem like an insurmountable feat, but patience and dedication will prove furnish positive results.

  1. Purchase a soft-bristled pet toothbrush and an appetizing, pet-approved toothpaste, such as poultry or bacon flavor (never human toothpaste)
  2. Introduce the new products slowly, allowing your pet to sniff or sample either the brush or toothpaste
  3. Coax your pet’s mouth open gently and attempt circular brushing on each tooth, paying extra attention to upper, outer molars where most tartar builds up
  4. Shoot for 2 minutes total, a minute each on upper and lower teeth

To supplement your brushing, you can peruse this list of approved products that includes rinses, dental chews, and treats.

The Professional Touch

We take great pride in your pet’s dental health and aspire to meet your expectations. At your pet’s regular wellness visit, we thoroughly inspect the mouth, teeth, and gums, and, depending on what we see, we may suggest that he or she may have digital x-rays taken. This gives us tremendous insight into your pet’s tooth roots and oral structure, as well as any problems occurring below the gum line.

In addition to the cursory exam done at the well pet check, we also suggest having a thorough, professional cleaning done at least once a year. Prior to cleaning your pet’s teeth, we run a full panel of tests that confirm his or her ability to withstand anesthesia. We take the concerns pet owners have regarding anesthesia very seriously, and hope you will feel free to voice concerns or questions about your pet’s cleaning procedure.

Pet Dental Health – The Big Picture

Imagine how long your own treatment plan might be if your neglected to brush your teeth or schedule annual cleanings. Truly, your pet is no different and deserves a high level of dental attention and care to ward off dangerous diseases. Our partnership with you and your pet can effectively promote excellent pet dental health, leading to a longer, happier life for your pet.