Each week for the month of February, we will be featuring a dental product to help with your dental regime at home.
Brushing is the basis of all dental care regimes! Daily brushing is the best way to protect your pet’s dental health and through regular tooth brushing, you can catch developing oral
Plaque is a film of mucus and bacteria that accumulate on the teeth. Continual accumulation of minerals from saliva on plaque on the teeth causes the plaque to mineralize and form calculus or tartar. The most effective means for controlling plaque is by brushing the teeth.
“Tooth brushing results in the disruption of plaque that adheres to the tooth, especially along the gum line,” explains Gary J. Spodnick, DVM, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, and Chief of Surgery, Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas, in Cary, North Carolina. “A variety of pet dentifrices (toothpastes) are available but the most important thing is not what brand is used to brush the teeth, but that the teeth are brushed. It is the mechanical action of brushing that is most effective at removing the plaque.”
Many pet toothpastes available here at the Belmont Veterinary Services contain enzymes which help inhibit the formation of plaque and are available in several flavours that your pets are sure to love. You can stop is today and pick up a sample of C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste (poultry) to try for only $1.07 +tax. Also, oral gels are available that can be applied to the gum line, with zinc gluconate and chlorhexidine digluconate, which both act to freshen breath and have anti-microbial action which kills plaque-producing bacteria.
Toothbrushes are also important in brushing your pets’ teeth. There are a variety of different tooth brushes available from regular children’s’ toothbrushes to pet toothbrushes to finger brushes. It may just take time for you to figure out what works best for you. For some, even just a piece of gauze may be just as helpful. Q-tips may also be used to apply toothpaste onto the tooth and may be better tolerated in cats.
The “do”s and “don’t”s of brushing:
- DO brush your pet’s teeth at least three times a week. (Daily is even better!)
- DO make teeth brushing an enjoyable experience for you and your pet.
- DON’T use “human” toothpaste to brush your pet’s teeth. Unlike humans, pets swallow the toothpaste, which may lead to stomach upset.
- DO replace your pet’s toothbrush at least every three months, or when the bristles become frayed.
- DON’T ignore “doggy breath” and assume that it’s normal.