Your dog's oral health has an impact on their overall health, which is why it's important to keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy. Today, our veterinarians Meadow Vista Veterinary Clinic present a few ways to keep your puppy's teeth in optimal condition.
Why Should I Worry About My Dog's Teeth?
As with humans, a dog's dental health is closely linked to its overall physical health and well-being. Unfortunately, periodontal disease and dental caries are frequent problems in dogs, even young ones.
These oral health issues can lead to some pretty dire consequences for pets' overall health as bacteria from periodontal disease travels through the dog's body. That's why taking these easy steps is important to keep your pet's mouth healthy.
How Can I Keep My Dog's Teeth Clean?
Pooch parents play an important role in helping their dogs fight the battle against dental disease. Here are some tips for maintaining your dog's oral health:
- Make daily brushing a part of your dog's oral health routine. Use a finger brush or dog-specific toothbrush to remove any plaque or debris from your pup's teeth. If your dog isn't a fan of brushing their teeth, it may help to apply a small amount of canine toothpaste to the brush. These products come in a range of flavors your pup will love.
- Use a plaque prevention product (ask your vet for trustworthy recommendations) that you can apply to your pet's gums and teeth. These products help prevent plaque build-up between professional cleanings.
- Give your canine companion dental treats, food, or chews designed to help keep plaque build-up and tartar away.
Why Does My Dog Need Professional Teeth Cleaning?
While maintaining a home oral care routine (and possibly adding chews or treats) is essential in preventing plaque and tartar build-up, a regular visit to the vet for a professional cleaning is the most effective way to ensure your dog's mouth stays clean and healthy.
This can also have serious consequences for your puppy's overall health, as periodontal disease can lead to heart disease (when bacteria enter the bloodstream through the mouth, they can infect other organs).
Dental care is an essential part of your pet's overall physical health. Book your dog's annual dental appointment today - your dog will thank you!
What Happens During Professional Teeth Cleaning?
We recommend booking an annual dental checkup for your dog. You may need to bring them in more frequently if they are prone to dental problems.
Your veterinarian will perform an oral health evaluation, looking for signs of dental problems, including:
- Plaque or tartar build-up
- Bad breath
- Swelling, pain, or bleeding in or around the mouth
- Discolored teeth
- Loose or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or baby teeth that have been retained
You can also use this opportunity to inform your vet if you have noticed symptoms such as drooling, food falling out of the mouth, decreased appetite (which could indicate that your dog is experiencing pain in the teeth) or abnormal chewing.
Your veterinarian will also assess whether your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia and perform additional diagnostics if necessary.
While they are safely under anesthesia, their teeth will be cleaned and polished (in addition to their gum line). The vet will probe and radiograph each tooth, then apply a fluoride treatment before using a dental sealant to fight plaque.
A custom treatment plan can help restore your pet's oral health if we find advanced periodontal disease.