Just like humans, dog's aren't born with a set of perfect teeth that natural stay healthy until they are adults. They need oral hygiene care, just like you! Dental health is very important for your dog, but up to 80% of dogs don't receive the dental care they need. Here, our Oakland vets walk you through why and how you should care for your dog's teeth.
It may not be something you've thought about before, but your dog's oral health is one of the key elements to their overall health. And, unfortunately, many pup's don't get the level of oral health care they need to stay healthy and happy. By age 3, most dogs begin showing signs of periodontal (gum) disease.
Just like in people, periodontal disease in dogs has been linked with a number of disease affecting their internal organs, including liver, kidneys and heart.
To help you dog have good oral health and stay generally healthy, your should take a two-pronged approach to caring for their oral hygiene: annual professional cleanings and at-home oral hygiene care.
At-Home Teeth Cleanings
Your have a number of tools at your disposal when it comes to caring for your dog's oral health at home, which all make an enormous difference in their long term oral and general health.
Brushing Their Teeth
Brushing your dog's teeth every day is the number one way to preserve their oral health. There are a wide range of dog dental products at your disposal to use in this process. We recommend using dog-specific toothbrushes and toothpaste.
It's important to remember to not use human toothpaste on your pup. They don't love the flavor and our toothpastes contain materials which can harm your dog.
Dental Chews and Diets
You also have options for diets and treats which can help to support your other at-home oral hygiene efforts.
Some foods are designed to abrasive to remove plaque from their teeth or contain chemical compounds which help to strengthen their teeth.
Ask your vet about what dental chews they recommend for your dog. Some are too hard and may actually damage your pup's teeth if they use them too often.
Professional Teeth Cleanings
In addition to your at-home oral healthcare, you should bring your dog in for a dental checkup at least once per year, and more frequently if they are prone to developing dental problems.
Just like when you go to your human dentist, when you bring your dog to East Bay Veterinary Clinic for a dental exam and cleaning, we will perform a full oral exam for signs of dental issues such as:
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
- Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
- Bleeding around the mouth
- Bad breath
- Discolored teeth
- Loose or broken teeth
If you identify any symptoms of periodontal disease in your pet, such as drooling, dropping food out of their mouth, abnormal shewing, or insufficient grooming, contact our Oakland vets to book a dental appointment.
We work on your pet while they are safely under anesthesia, examining, cleaning and polishing your pup's pearly whites both above and below their gum line. To help protect against future damage, we will also apply a fluoride treatment to your dog's teeth.