Brushing your dog’s teeth isn’t just about fresh breath, but hey, isn’t that reason enough? Although most people aren’t aware of it, periodontal, or gum disease, is a common and serious problem in dogs. Yet brushing your dog’s teeth can prevent it! Veterinarians estimate that 85 percent of dogs over 5 years of age suffer from periodontal disease!
What is the percentage of humans with periodontal disease? 50 percent ! And it is preventable and treatable! Just ask our hygienists for some tips!
When deciding to take on your dog’s oral health, choose a tool that you are comfortable using. Pet stores carry toothbrushes for dogs as well as small, plastic brushes that fit on your finger and special dental sponges. If these products don’t appeal to you and your dog, just wrap a thin cloth around your finger instead.
Purchase a toothpaste made for dogs from a pet store or veterinarian. Avoid using human toothpaste on your dog. Keep in mind that our pet will end up swallowing a lot of the paste during brushing sessions, and ingesting paste made for people may upset their stomachs. The pet formulations are sure to be tastier to your best friend as well! Pet toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors. Experiment with a few flavors to see which taste your pet prefers.
It is ideal to brush your dog’s teeth daily, just like you brush your own.
1. Take it slow. Introduce tooth brushing in small steps so that your dog doesn’t get overwhelmed and upset.
2. Teach your dog that good things happen when he/she gets a toothbrushing. Give treats and love as incentives.
3. Apply a small amount of paste, use the brush, sponge or your finger in circular motions by the teeth and gums. Try to get the tongue side and cheek side areas. Just like you would your own mouth!
The goal to a healthy mouth is the prevention of periodontal disease, better overall health and the decreased needs of sedation and necessary tooth removal. BTW, Dr. Garrett Barker does these procedures on humans!
Does your dog snore? Ours does, perhaps it is her underbite! We have joked about taking impressions and having Dr. Jim Jones straighten her teeth with invisalign!
Then Dr. Matt Fisher would be able to create an appliance, like the TAP III appliance, to reduce her snoring!
Ha! That would never happen!
Enjoy your pet,
-Michelle R Fisher
Fisher Jones Family Dentistry 360.943.4644