20 Aug Best Way to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth
Brushing pets’ teeth may seem difficult, which is why many people put it off. Others don’t brush their pets’ teeth because they don’t like handling their mouths. But do you know that brushing your pet’s teeth takes only a few minutes? The best part is that it can significantly improve their oral health and lead to a better quality of life.
Animals with poor oral hygiene are not only more prone to losing their teeth, but they are also more likely to contract systemic illnesses. Many periodontal diseases happen due to the buildup of plaque in the mouth. In addition to gum disease, plaque is also responsible for bad breath and tooth decay. If left untreated, it may cause disease in other body systems.
Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth
Brushing your dog or cat’s teeth is a crucial part of pet dental hygiene, and it should not be treated as a task but instead as an activity. It is important to brush as much of the tooth surface as possible, focusing on the molars as they gather the most food residue.
The most critical area of the mouth to brush is the junction between the gums and teeth, where gum decay occurs. Be sure to keep the introductory sessions short, so your pet gets accustomed to the ritual. It is good to start with 10 to 15 seconds and then gradually work your way up to 2 minutes daily.
Steps for Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth
- The beginning of pet dental care is always challenging, so you have to relax and be patient when starting out. It will take time for your pet to get used to the toothbrush in their mouth, so do not stress yourself too much.
- Seat your pets in a relaxed position to ensure that they are comfortable.
- Massage your pets gently so they can relax before the process starts. Be sure to stroke and caress them around the cheeks, so they get used to your touch and feel in that area.
- Introduce your pets to the toothpaste by putting some over a treat or placing some on your finger and letting them lick it off. Doing so will help familiarize them with the toothpaste’s taste and smell by repeating this process every consecutive day.
- Put toothpaste on a small toothbrush or a finger toothbrush and place it into your pet’s mouth for a few seconds. Do not brush just yet; this will help accustom your pet to the feel of a toothbrush in their mouth. For example, you could start with short durations like 15 to 30 seconds and then work your way up over time.
- Once your pet is comfortable with having the toothbrush with the toothpaste in their mouth, you can now add toothpaste to your toothbrush and slowly brush one tooth, starting from the gum line and then working your way to cover the entire tooth. After you have completed working on one tooth, move to the next, and so on.
- To brush the back molars, retract your pet’s lips to create a smile. Increase the brushing time gradually to one minute for each arch.
- If your pet only allows short durations of activity, focus on brushing the upper and outer molars.
- Increase the brushing time gradually over the next few days.
- Be sure to praise your pet for the progress
Only Use Pet Toothpaste
Do not consider using your toothpaste; pet stores and even some supermarkets will have a range of products suitable for use on dogs and cats:
- Human toothpaste is not meant to be swallowed, while pet toothpaste can be consumed.
- Human toothpaste contains fluoride, whereas pet toothpaste is free of this element.
- Human toothpaste contains sodium lauryl sulphate, which causes it to foam. Pet toothpaste doesn’t have this element.
Best Pet Toothpaste to Use
While any toothpaste sold at the pet store should be safe for use, there are a few things to consider:
- Ensure it has a flavour your pet enjoys (malt, seafood, poultry)
- It should not contain sugar or sugar substitutes
- It should contain enzymes that help dissolve plaque (glucose oxidase and lactoperoxidase)
Pet Dental Care in Dundas
If your pet is suffering from any dental problems, be sure to consult a pet dentist or a veterinary clinic. At Governor’s Road Animal Hospital, our pet dentistry professionals ensure that your pet is always in good health and receives proper dental care.