Good dental care will keep your pet comfortable, prevent tooth and gum disease and tooth loss, lessen long-term health problems, and decrease bad breath...all worthwhile endeavors! To achieve these goals, home dental care is important.
- Regular brushing (click here for step-by-step instructions) is the best way to remove plaque and tartar from your pet's teeth. This is important because buildup of plaque and tartar causes tooth and gum disease and may also lead to bacteria entering your pet's bloodstream which can damage major organs. To prevent this, brush with pet toothpaste only and with whatever kind of toothbrush works best for you and your pet (pet toothbrush, finger toothbrush, infant toothbrush, battery operated brush, etc.). Brushing five times weekly is a good goal, but the more often, the better! Problem areas are often along the outer surfaces of the top teeth. For pets that are just getting used to brushing, rubbing the teeth with soft gauze may be better tolerated in the beginning. Brush in short sessions with lots of praise and rewards!
- Dental sprays (OralDent) or drinking water additives (healthymouth) are also great at minimizing plaque and bad breath. Use them with brushing or for pets that don't allow brushing.
- Dental chew toys are helpful and fun and can be found in most pet stores.
- Dental treats are also a great option for home dental care. C.E.T. rawhide chews are coated with enzymes that help prevent plaque. We also regularly stock Hill's t/d treats. Remember, you may even wish to use kibbles of a dental specific diet as a treat. Pet stores offer alternate products as well, but look to be sure they carry the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance.
- Food generally contributes to plaque accumulation, but some foods actually help prevent it - veterinary dental diets clean your pet's teeth every time he or she eats! High quality, well-balanced canine and feline diets are available. The kibbles are scientifically formulated and texturized to scrub your pet's teeth during chewing and also contain enzymatic supplements which promote healthy teeth and gums. We routinely stock Hill's t/d and Royal Canin dental diets.
- Here at the Goodison Veterinary Center, we partner with Michigan Animal Dental Specialists to provide full-service dental care, including dental prophylaxis (comprehensive oral examination, scaling, polishing, and fluoride application under general anesthesia) and additional dental treatments such as digital dental radiographs, extractions, advanced procedures, or further medical treatment as indicated. We would be happy to provide more information, so please ask for details. You can also find more information on our dental FAQs page.
- It is important to schedule follow-up dental examinations to monitor your pet's dental health and to adjust the treatment plan according to his or her progress. Dental exams every 6 months (or as advised) greatly reduce health problems associated with poor dental health.
Please feel free to contact us at any time with questions or concerns regarding your pet's dental care.