How to Be Proactive With Your Pet’s Dental Health
As humans, we brush our teeth twice a day, and we go to the dentist every six months for a cleaning . . . or at least we’re supposed to! Your dentist takes dental x-rays to look at your roots and the structure of your teeth, and then scales (cleans) all the tartar and junk off. Lastly they finish by polishing to help protect your teeth.
Even with all the preventative care we do, we still sometimes get cavities or need root canals . . . or worse!
So, can you imagine how much gunk and bacteria your pets accumulate without being able to brush their teeth daily? Not to mention all the questionable things they chew on or pick up outside.
This is why it is so important for us to keep up with preventative dental care for our pets! Not only can they not maintain proper oral hygiene on their own, but they also can’t communicate when they are in pain or have discomfort.
Proactive dental care doesn’t just help “bad breath”, but it can actually add 2-3 YEARS to your pet’s life! So what do we mean by “proactive dental care”? Here are some examples:
- Routine Teeth Brushing: If you are able to acclimate your pet to the concept of teeth brushing, this is a great way to remove the tartar and bacteria that accumulates and slow down the progression of dental disease. There are pet toothbrushes and also finger brushes that you can use in conjunction with a specially formulated pet toothpaste (check them out on our online store here!). The earlier you start this training, the faster your pet will get used to it. Click here to learn How to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth.
- Dental Chews: Realistically we understand that many (if not most) pets are NOT cooperative for teeth brushing. The use of dental chews is a great alternative that can mimic the act of brushing and help to minimize tartar and freshen breath. When choosing a dental chew, be mindful of the calorie content and look for products that have veterinary research behind them. Stay away from chews that do not bend or break easily, as these could fracture teeth. At GOVC we recommend Oravet Chews and C.E.T. VeggieDent FR3SH chews.
- Dental Cleaning and Treatment: For some pets, the dental disease has progressed far enough that medical treatment is needed. Similar to our check ups at the dentist, a dental cleaning procedure will involve taking x-rays to ensure that no roots or bone structure are compromised or infected. These x-rays will also tell us if there are any teeth that need to be extracted. This procedure is done under anesthesia in order to minimize any risks to your pet, such as accidental aspiration or damage if they move. It is also less stressful for your pet so they are not fearful during restraint, especially with the sound of strange equipment. As an AAHA-Accredited hospital, we follow all guidelines necessary to provide the safest anesthetic experience for your pet. Read more here.
At GOVC we don’t believe in “dental health MONTH” because preventative care should happen all year round! But in addition to our year-round dental promotions, we will be offering FREE dental x-rays in February (which is a $90 savings!).