Do you want to provide the best dental care for your pet? Avoid these mistakes when it comes to tooth brushing.
1. Using human toothpaste
Human toothpaste may contain poisonous ingredients for pets, such as xylitol. Other ingredients may lead to stomach upset. Reach for a toothpaste specially formulated for dogs and cats. You'll find a wide selection of flavors like beef, chicken, or seafood. (Yum!) C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste continues to clean the teeth after you finish brushing by gently scrubbing the teeth each time your pet licks the toothpaste off his or her teeth.
Dental cleanings are usually first recommended by our veterinarians when your pet is only a few years old and he suffering from early periodontal disease. Dental cleanings for these pets are fairly quick, taking approximately 30-60 minutes. If your pet's teeth have not been professionally cleaned on a regular basis and periodontal disease has progressed, the procedure will take longer, possibly 1-3 hours. In addition, pets with advanced dental disease often require multiple teeth extractions, and are at risk of damaging other organs in the body, such as the heart and kidneys.
Our team of a certified veterinary technician and a veterinarian will perform the dental cleaning under anesthesia: cleaning, scaling and polishing the teeth to remove the tough plaque and tartar build-up on your pet's teeth and under the gumline. A full oral exam will be performed and dental radiographs may also be taken. It is worth noting that at all times, your pet's vital signs are monitored closely and your pet's safety remains our top priority.
The safest method of performing a dental cleaning is with general anesthesia, when your pet is fully intubated and immobile. These dental cleanings are recommended on an annual basis by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Anesthesia Free Dental Cleanings are not recommended, as they can be painful for your pet and ineffective at removing the bacteria below the gumline.
We interviewed several of our WMVH team members to find out what they do to keep their pet's teeth healthy. Here's what they had to say:
Heather: "I use the OralDent Cleansing Solution on my dog's teeth, usually every day."
Rachel: "My dogs and cat eat Science Diet Healthy Advantage Oral. They also receive regular professional dental cleanings. I've been trying to brush my dogs' teeth daily, but it's been difficult for me to be consistent."
Cindy: "Sylus gets his teeth brushed every night! He loves it!" (Watch his video!)
Dr. Richards: "My dog, Lulu, doesn't tolerate a tooth brush, so she eats Science Diet T/D as 30% of her daily diet and a CET Veggident chew weekly. Lulu also has a professional dental cleaning under anesthesia every 6-12 months.
Alicia: "I brush my dog's teeth every other day."
Laura: "One of my cats, Sam, doesn't have any teeth, after suffering from a painful dental condition called stomatitis. Dr. Richards helped him throughout that disease process for several years, but ultimately removing his teeth was the best solution. Sam's no worse for wear, though, and still prefers eating dry food despite my attempts to move him to a canned food only diet. My other three cats receive regular professional dental cleanings."
Mary: "My dog and all of my cats get their teeth brushed three times a week."
Lisa: "I check my cat's teeth regularly and so far they have healthy teeth. If necessary, they would have professional dental cleanings."
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Have you made a list of new year's resolutions that includes investing in your pet's health? Dental disease affects 70% of dogs and cats over the age of 3, and can lead to other health problems such as heart and kidney disease. Maintaining a healthy mouth is a great way to improve the overall health and life of your pet!
This February, WMVH will be offering discounts on dental home care products (including your dog's favorite CET chews!) and on professional teeth cleanings. Call our office at (717) 766-7981 to schedule an appointment for your pet's oral health exam!
Extractions: If a tooth cannot be saved, it will be extracted. The first step is to administer a local anesthetic block to desensitize the area. Even though the patient is under anesthesia, removing a tooth can cause pain. The local anesthetic gives the patient immediate pain relief and lasts for several hours to offer the patient post-operative comfort.
(Original Post Date: 2/16/15)
Willow Mill Veterinary Hospital offers a wide variety of oral home care. Our veterinary health care team is happy to discuss these products with you and prepare a personalized oral home came plan that fits best for your pet and your lifestyle.
Chewing is good! Rinsing is better! Brushing is best!
CET Toothpastes are specially formulated for pets, contain a patented Dual-Enzyme System to inhibit plaque, and are available in five flavors. CET Toothbrushes are designed with soft bristles, reverse-angled, tapered heads and come in a variety of sizes so you'll find the right fit for your pet. Our team is happy to demonstrate teeth brushing, or click here for a video on how to brush your pet's teeth.