Taking care of your dog’s teeth helps lower the risk of tooth and gum problems. It also helps protect your dog from other medical conditions that are associated with dental disease, such as heart and kidney problems. Use the following tips to make sure your pet’s teeth and gums stay in great shape.
Dental Care at Home
You can do a lot to protect your dog from dental problems. Brushing your dog’s teeth is one of the most important parts of dental care for pets. When you brush your dog’s teeth regularly, you’re preventing plaque from building up and increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. You can brush your dog’s teeth by using a toothbrush and toothpaste made for specially for dogs. Don’t use toothpaste for humans, since it can upset your dog’s stomach. Brush your dog’s teeth by holding the brush at a 45-degree angle and moving it in circular motions.
Giving your dog chew toys also helps keep teeth clean by removing food particles. These toys have the added benefit of providing your dog with a way to relieve boredom or stress. Just make sure that you choose chew toys that don't contain toxic ingredients.
Caring for your dog’s teeth also means watching for signs of dental problems. Signs of tooth and gum problems include bad breath, loose teeth, red and swollen gums and excessive drooling. Let your veterinarian know if you notice any symptoms of dental problems.
Professional Dental Care
Your veterinarian will check your dog’s teeth for potential problems that need to be treated. As your dog gets older, your vet will look for signs of gum disease, oral tumors and other problems that can lead to serious health issues. Your vet might take dental X-rays of your dog’s teeth to check for abnormalities that could cause problems.
Your vet might recommend professional cleanings in order to reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease even more. These cleanings are usually done while pets are under anesthesia, since this makes it safer for vets to conduct thorough dental exams and cleanings. While your dog is under anesthesia, your vet will monitor vital signs, such as heart rate and body temperature.
With regular dental care at home and at the vet's, your dog's teeth can stay clean and shiny. This can help your pet live a long, healthy and happy life.