Keeping your pet’s teeth clean is an important way to stop them suffering from tooth pain. It not only helps to keep their breath smelling sweeter, but also reduces the risk of heart, liver and kidney disease. By 3 years of age, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease, much of which can be prevented through brushing.
Our pets are so good at hiding their pain, it is important to regularly check their mouths for signs of dental disease.
Things to look out for include:
- Bleeding, red and inflamed or recessed gums
- Layers of tartar overlying the teeth
- Discoloured teeth
- Loose teeth or missing teeth
- Bad breath
- Pawing at their mouth
- Reluctance to eat dry food or preferentially eating soft food
The SINGLE most important and beneficial thing you can do to prevent dental disease is daily teeth brushing. Brushing teeth every other day is 60% less effective than brushing every day and brushing 4 times a week or less has shown to have no benefit at all. The younger your pet when you start brushing teeth, the easier it will be to get them used to it, and the more effective it will be in preventing dental disease.
Never use human toothpaste; tasty dog and cat toothpaste is available and enzymatic toothpaste is best. Always start by just using your finger to apply the toothpaste, to let your pet get used to it. Repeat this until they are comfortable. The next step is to introduce the toothbrush – the benefits of brushing teeth are due to the actual mechanical action of brushing.
We also recommend using Hill’s Prescription Diet® t/d®, a clinical diet developed by nutritionists & veterinarians and especially formulated to support your dog’s dental health. In fact, Hills t/d is clinically proven nutrition to reduce plaque, stain, & tartar build up.
If your pet needs more advanced dental treatment we can perform this in our Coalville surgery dental suite. The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic. We will descale your pet’s teeth, extract any that are loose or rotten and polish those that are left. We will supply you with a special paste to reduce the level of rebuild-up of plaque and give you advice on how to use this.