February is National Pet Dental Month
Did you know that odor coming from your pets mouth can be a serious health risk? Bacteria in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and impact vital organs like the heart, liver and kidneys. Research shows that around age of 2, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some sign of dental disease.
Here are some factors that can contribute to oral health problems:
- Age- Dental disease is more common in older pets.
- Breed- Small breed dogs are more likely to have overcrowded or misaligned teeth that are difficult to keep clean, making them more prone to dental disease.
- Feeding sticky foods, such as canned food, can lead to a more rapid buildup of plaque.
If your pet has oral health problems, the first thing you noticed is bad breath. Other common signs of oral health issues are:
- Sore mouth
- Yellow-brown build up on teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Change in chewing or eating habits
- Loose teeth or tooth loss
- Abnormal drooling
- Pawing or rubbing the mouth
Help your pet maintain positive oral health through the power of dental checkups, teeth brushing and oral health diets and treats. Daily brushing is the foundation of oral care. By brushing your pet’s teeth daily you can make a big impact on your pets oral health. If you have never brushed your pet’s teeth follow the steps below to learn how.
Four easy steps on brushing your pet’s teeth:
Get comfortable- Set expectations that getting use to brushing might take several sessions, so reward your pet through the training process and remember to keep it positive and be patient. Practicing lifting their lip to see their teeth and reward with praise.
Try toothpaste- You can wrap your index finger in gauze or use a finger toothbrush. After your pet is comfortable, lift the lip and gently rub the pet toothpaste over the teeth and gums.
Toothbrush Time- Introduce the toothbrush provided by your veterinarian. If desired, place a small amount of pet toothpaste on the brush and gently start brushing.
Brushing success- Brush teeth and gums gently. Focus on the outside of the teeth. The surface facing the cheek is the most prone to plaque and tartar buildup.
Be sure to use pet safe toothpaste. Our clinic carries C.E.T. Toothpaste that are specially formulated for pets. There are several different flavors to make brushing teeth tasty and rewarding.
Let’s face it some pets just won’t allow you to brush their teeth. Don’t be discouraged there are other products out there to help keep your pet’s mouth healthy.
Dental Food/Treats- All products are available in dog and cat formulas.
- Hills T/D- Works like a toothbrush to protect against gingivitis and fight bacteria in your pet’s mouth. It is the only pet food clinically prove to reduce gingivitis and accumulation of both plaque and tartar.
- Science Diet Oral Care- The kibble is designed to naturally scrubs teeth clean like a toothbrush. It helps keep teeth and gums healthy. It’s uniquely formulated to help address five common healthy concerns for adult animals; Oral healthy, Weight Management, Digestion, Skin & Coat and Mobility.
- Greenies Treats- Dental chews and treats help fight tartar building up and plaque. Also helps freshens breath while maintaining healthier teeth and gums. Greenies are safe and easily digestible.
- C.E.T. Chews- A great tasting, easy, healthy option. The novel formulation provides antiseptic activity for up to 24 hours, in delicious chews your pet will enjoy.
Even if your pet isn’t showing signs of oral health problems, it’s worth asking your veterinarian for a dental check up and advice on how to clean your pet’s teeth to prevent problems in the future.