You Want Me To Brush My Pet’s Teeth?

You Want Me to Brush My Pet’s Teeth?

Yes, that’s exactly what we want you to do! It is the best way to prevent the hardened build up, called calculus, on the teeth. The calculus starts the cascade of changes that leads to dental disease. You’ll get the maximum benefit if brushing occurs daily to every other day. Any less frequently and thin layers of calculus have had the time to form in between brushings. Once the plaque has hardened to calculus, there is no brushing it off. Thin layers build on one another forming large chunks over months to years.

Now brushing may not work out for every pet for many reasons. Maybe they have painful teeth and don’t want their mouth touched. If they act aggressively when you try to brush their teeth, then don’t continue. If it is ruining your relationship, then focus on other means of oral care.

Here is a list of what you’ll need:
-Toothbrush (soft-bristled, fits in mouth comfortably, human one work too)
-Enzymatic toothpaste (DO NOT use human toothpaste!)
-Patience
-Persistence
…..Patience is needed because with most animals you may not be able to jump right into a brushing routine. Kitten and puppies maybe easier, but older animals may be frightened, defensive, painful, or just plain uncooperative.
Once they are accustomed to the toothbrush, brush their teeth as you would your own. Focus on the large teeth in the back of the mouth.  These are the functional chewing teeth and they tend to gather calculus more readily and rapidly than the others.

Here are some good links to more in-depth info, videos, and tips on getting your pet accustomed to having their teeth brushed.

www.petdental.com

After choosing the language you want the website in, click that you are a pet owner on the right hand side, then go to Home Dental Care from the menu on the left or click on the link below. This gives steps to brushing and a video of brushing a dog’s teeth.


http://www.petdental.com/pd2/displayContent.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302025932&bmUID=1330465685937


The above link has other links on the left side that give cat and dog dental facts or click below.


http://www.petdental.com/pd2/displayContent.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302025934&bmUID=1330465689109


Here is a great instruction video on getting your cat accustomed to the process of brushing.


http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/search/node/brushing+cat+teeth+type%3Apah_asset
 

The American Veterinary Dental College has good resources for other methods of at home oral care and other topics related to your pet’s teeth.


http://www.avdc.org/carefordogs.html


Here is one more article on introducing brushing to your pet’s routine.


http://www.healthypet.com/petcare/DogCareArticle.aspx?title=Brushing_Your_Pets_Teeth

The most important thing is to ensure that you are starting with a healthy, non-painful mouth. Having your veterinarian do an oral exam is a good idea. An even better idea  is to start after your pet has had a professional scale and polish.

 

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