We are quite aware of the importance of good hygiene in our own teeth and visit the dentist regularly. We know about plaque control, cavity prevention and the problems of bad breath. So if we are aware of this importance why do many pet owners not think their animals are subject to the same problems.
Plaque and tartar can lead to severe inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis, which is a painful condition. Bacteria in the mouth can be highly destructive and plaque causes periodontal disease where the roots of the teeth can become damaged beyond repair.
The bacteria that cause dental disease in cats and dogs are also responsible for halitosis or bad breath and also more life threatening issues when the bacteria enter the bloodstream.
We at the Park Vets advise oral hygiene for you pet on an ongoing basis using a combination of products from toothpaste, mouthwashes, dentistry chews and specially formed diets for your pets requirements.
We have available the very latest dentistry equipment in order to meet all our patient’s dentistry needs whether they are cat or dog, rabbit or guinea pig.
How to monitor your pet’s oral or dental health
You need to check your pet’s mouth on a regular basis. If their gums appear red or inflamed, or if there’s a foul odour or broken teeth, you would need to contact us so we can treat these conditions.
Here are some basic steps to follow to help maintain your pet’s dental health.
Start as soon as you can. As youngsters gently start handling the muzzle and tickling your pet’s teeth using plenty of praise to gain confidence.
Use a fine cloth and flavour with garlic for your dogs and tuna juice for cats, this will seem as a treat and they will soon enjoy this procedure, although they will not need any maintenance you are getting your pet used to this procedure once their permanent teeth erupt.
Finally use a soft toothbrush to brush the teeth. We can help recommend a number of good brushes for you, which are stocked at our practice.
Hold the brush at a 45degree angle to the tooth and brush back and forth or from gum to tip. Brushing the tongue side of teeth is less critical. Use the garlic water or tuna juice to make it fun.
There is a selection of toothpastes and washes available which we recommend.
Brushing daily has proved to be more successful than brushing three times a week.
Avoid using human toothpastes as this can lead to stomach upsets if swallowed.
It helps to give mildly abrasive foods and toys such as dry kibble, rawhide and dense rubber chew–toys, avoid natural bones and hard nylon toys, as these are hard enough to fracture teeth.
Following these simple tasks will greatly improve your pet’s dental health and working as a team with us will make for a long and happy life.