Your dog's oral health impacts its overall health, that's why it's important to ensure that your dog's teeth and gums are clean and healthy. Here, our Corpus Christi vets share some ways to keep your pup's teeth in tip-top condition.
Should I brush my dog's teeth?
Yes, in a nutshell. A dog's dental health, like that of humans, is closely related to its overall physical health and well-being. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are unfortunately common problems in dogs, even in puppies. As bacteria from periodontal disease travels through the dog's body, these oral health issues can have serious consequences for the overall health of the pet. That is why it is critical to follow these simple steps to keep your pet's mouth healthy.
How to Clean Your Dog's Teeth
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:
- Brushing should be done on a daily basis for your dog's oral health. Remove any plaque or debris from your dog's teeth with a finger brush or a dog-specific toothbrush. If your dog dislikes having its teeth brushed, a small amount of canine toothpaste on the brush may help. These items are available in a variety of flavors that your dog will enjoy.
- 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 buildup between professional cleanings.
- Give your canine companion dental treats, food, or chews designed to help keep plaque buildup and tartar away.
Why does my dog need professional teeth cleaning?
While maintaining an at-home oral care routine (and potentially supplementing it with dental chews or treats) is an important step in preventing plaque and tartar buildup, seeing the vet regularly for a professional cleaning is the best way to ensure your dog’s mouth stays clean and healthy.
Without this annual cleaning, plaque can build up on teeth, causing bad breath, gingivitis, and eventually periodontal disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. This can also have serious implications for your dog's overall health, as periodontal disease can lead to heart disease (when bacteria enters the bloodstream through the mouth, it can infect other organs).
Dental care is an essential element of your pet’s overall physical health. Schedule your dog’s annual dental appointment today - your pooch will be grateful!
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 buildup
- 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 take this opportunity to let your vet know if you’ve noticed any symptoms such as drooling, dropping food from the mouth, reduced appetite (which could indicate your dog is experiencing pain in his teeth), or abnormal chewing.
Your vet will also determine whether your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia, then perform additional diagnostics if required. Once we have safely anesthetized your pet, we complete a full oral exam (tooth-by-tooth) and charting.
Their teeth will be cleaned and polished while they are safely sedated (in addition to their gum line). The veterinarian will probe and radiograph each tooth before applying a fluoride treatment and a dental sealant to combat plaque. If we discover the advanced periodontal disease, we will create a personalized treatment plan to help restore your pet's good oral health.