3 Easy Ways to Keep Your Pet’s Teeth Healthy at Home!
1. Tooth brushing
Brushing your pet’s teeth on a daily basis helps remove plaque that has accumulated on the tooth’s surface. If this plaque is not removed it can eventually become mineralized and turn into tartar. The tartar acts as little caves for bacteria to grow, which can lead to periodontal disease.
Here’s Mayhem, our technician Cheryl’s cat, getting his teeth brush. It does take some practice, but stick with it and eventually it will become a part of your pet’s daily routine. Here are some articles that give tips for starting out brushing your pets teeth.
Brushing Teeth in Cats
Brushing Teeth in Dogs
2. Dental Diet
Along side daily tooth brushing, feeding a Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) approved dental diet can also help with plaque control. These diets have larger kibble, that when chewed, use mechanical action to help remove accumulated plaque.
My dog Tucker enjoying Hill’s T/D diet. Click here for a link to a list of other VOHC approved diets.
3. Anti-plaque Water Additives or Oral Gel products
Using a water additive product or a topical oral gel product such as Healthy Mouth can be used to help fight the plaque battle. Not all products in this category are created equal though. We only recommend products that have had their efficacy backed by research and have the VOHC seal.
Here’s Winchester, our technician Mandy’s cat, getting the Healthy Mouth oral gel applied to his teeth.
Before starting home dental care with your pet, it is best to have them evaluated by a veterinarian to make sure they do not have existing periodontal disease. Some dogs and cats need to undergo an oral exam and professional dental cleaning under general anesthetic before home care should be started. Dr. Costello or I would be more that happy to see your dog or cat in for an assessment and to develop a personalized dental care plan for them!
Dr. Julie Fell DVM