Posted by: My Personal Vet | February 11, 2011

Dogs don’t wear Dentures

Pulling teeth is the sad result of not enough dental care. And dentures are not an option for dogs. Without proper care, teeth and gums get diseased and bad breath is the result. Bad dog breath is not normal or healthy!

February is Dental Awareness Month, so let’s talk about how to keep our dogs’ teeth in their mouth and their gums healthy.  It doesn’t take much time and my dogs don’t mind a bit.

Step 1:  Get them used to mouth handling
The trick is not to just jump straight to sticking the brush in the mouth. You want them to enjoy it – and they will. Get them used to being touched all over mouth and face. Don’t just start with putting your fingers in their mouth. Pet gently all over. Move their lips a bit but don’t focus on the end. Focus on getting them to enjoy their face being handled.  Treats are wonderful and they deserve some.

After several sessions of mouth handling, they should permit it calmly. Some pups will allow it right off the bat. But don’t rush them. Be aware you are asking them to permit something you probably wouldn’t enjoy unless allowed to get used to it. While doing this, start looking at the teeth and try to decide whether your dog’s are healthy. We’ll discuss how to evaluate them later.

The next lesson will be introducing the toothbrush and paste. But for now, let’s look at our goal:

Teeth brushing GOAL avoid the tartar!! This dog needed all this tartar chipped off and subgingival cleaning under anesthetic.   Brushing their teeth can reduce the number of times they need anesthetic and the number of dollars you spend on it!

Example of Clean and Dirty

Before cleaning: The large tooth in the back is covered with tartar and the canine tooth on the top has some beginning. The rest appear fairly clean.

Before Cleaning - dirty teeth

Check out the Tartar especially on the back carnassial!

After cleaning: Look at the difference!

After Cleaning - clean teeth

Clean teeth!

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