Caring For Your Dog’s Dental Health

Posted on July 1, 2019 in Uncategorized

As with any animal, good oral health is crucial to the overall health of your dog. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly will not only prevent bad breath, but could also reduce the risk of serious health concerns, such as abscesses. Worryingly, bacteria from an abscess can quickly travel through the body and affect the heart, kidneys, liver and brain via the bloodstream. Therefore, it is crucial that the dental health of your dog is cared for correctly. Below, are tips on brushing a dog’s teeth and other methods of caring for canine dental health.

Effects of Poor Dental Care

Unlike humans, dogs rarely have cavities. Instead, the most common problems in a canine mouth are gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums, and plaque, which is a build-up of bacteria caused by food debris between the teeth and along the gum line. Of course, as mentioned above, this can lead to an abscess, which can have extremely harmful and even fatal effects.

Obviously, brushing, which helps to remove plaque, is the best measure to prevent these potential health problems.

Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

It is advisable to begin brushing a dog’s teeth from early puppyhood, partly because it will allow him, or her, to become accustomed to the activity, but also because it is a good idea to be mindful of your dog’s dental health from the very beginning.

There are toothbrushes specifically designed for canine use, which you can find in most pet stores. However, a soft bristled child’s brush will work equally as effectively. Human toothpaste, however, should never be used for your dog. Canine toothpastes are available from pet stores or your local veterinary’s office.

Some dogs are reluctant to allow their teeth to be brushed, hence the need to train them to be handled in this way from a young age. When training your dog, start with small steps, for example opening his, or her, mouth. Be sure to offer lots of praise for allowing you to do this. Then, begin brushing the sides of the teeth, again lots of praise should be awarded. When your dog is comfortable, increase the area and amount of time you spend brushing. If, at any point, your dog becomes distressed, stop and allow him, or her, to calm down before beginning again.

It is a good idea to pay particular attention to your dog’s upper back teeth, as these will provide the first sign of plaque build-up.

Dental Care Treats

Crunchy treats, and those specifically designed to improve the dental health of your dog, are great for removing food from between the teeth and leaving gums healthy. Typically, crunchy foods are better for your dog’s dental health then soft, canned or pouched, foods, so you may like to add a mixer to wet food. Alternatively, ensure that your canine companion has a crunchy treat after every meal.

Prophylaxis

Prophylaxis is a thorough cleaning that is done under anesthetic. A veterinarian will take X-rays, examine each tooth carefully and remove any abscessed or infected ones. Then, the teeth and gums are meticulously cleaned.

This treatment may be necessary when you adopt a rescued dog, as their dental health is often poorly cared for. In addition, older dogs are likely to experience problems with their teeth and gums and may need prophylaxis. However, as prophylaxis requires an anesthetic, and anesthetic always carries risk, it should not be used as an alternative to regular brushing and dental care in the home.

Although your dog may not enjoy it, it is crucial that you clean his, or her, teeth regularly. If you are having difficulties with training your dog to accept brushing, seek the assistance of a veterinarian or an obedience trainer.

A Message About Dental Health and Healthy Living

Posted on July 1, 2019 in Uncategorized

There is a saying: “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”. Its origin is based on the fact that an animal’s dental health will always reveal the status of its overall vitality. Checking the horse’s mouth will show whether this ‘gift’ warrants the food, shelter and care it needs.

A healthy mouth is the gift we give to ourselves. Always get the best quality dentistry you can afford. The mouth is the gateway to the body, so money spent for your dental health is a very practical investment in long term healthy living. With health care costs soaring, it is important to realize that prevention is always the best strategy. And preventive dentistry is always the best approach to your dental health. As with any investment, include your budget for dentistry within your financial planning.

Your dental health is also an important investment in the beauty of your smile, in how you look and feel about yourself. Technical advances available in bonded and restorative dentistry today make it possible for all your dental work to be durable and bio-compatible, and to look and feel natural. Besides contributing to your dental health, any dentistry you have done should be considered cosmetic in nature as well.

The dentist you like and trust will always be an asset to your health support team. Find a dentist who inspires your confidence. Trust is only possible when the dentist takes time to explain all the different aspects of the patient’s dental health. Just as important is finding a dentist who listens to what you have to say. That way all your concerns can be resolved and your desires included in the final result. The outcome of treatment is always most positive and successful when the patient understands the process and is involved in their treatment.

The environment in the office will also play a role in the overall quality of your experience of dental treatment. Attention to air and water are two aspects of this, as is the use of bio-friendly dental materials. Your dentist’s environmental awareness also plays a role in contributing to the community as a whole.

When you have found a dentist you are happy with, stay current with your ongoing care. Make the commitment to your dental health and do any work you might require. Once again the emphasis is on prevention, because preventive maintenance is invariably preferable to fixing problems that have worsened over time. Regularly scheduled check-ups and cleanings are always advisable. In the long run this is a much easier path than deferred treatment.

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February Is Pet Dental Health Month

Posted on June 28, 2019 in Uncategorized

February is most noted for being Black History Month and for being a time to snuggle extra close with your lover in celebration of Valentine’s Day. However, February is also Pet Dental Health Month – a special time to think about how snuggling with your four-legged loved ones would be a lot better if their mouth was a lot cleaner!

Just how important is dental health for Buddy or Bella? According to leading pet health insurance companies, dental related problems and diseases are in the top ten of health claims they receive. Problems such as periodontal disease, tooth infections, and tooth decay can really affect Buddy’s overall health if you don’t address the problems right away. Better still, Bella should be getting regular tooth check-ups and teeth cleanings so you can prevent nasty and hazardous dental problems down the road.

Keep Buddy’s Teeth Healthy and Shining
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that nearly 80% of dogs show some signs of oral disease by age 3. This could be dramatically reduced if pet owners took their dogs to veterinarians regularly and practiced proper pet dental health care at home.

There are lots of ways to practice preventative pet dental care. In general, whatever you do for your teeth, you should also do for Buddy’s. Brushing their teeth is the best way to keep tooth decay and tooth disease away. Don’t use human dental products on Buddy, though! There are plenty of pet friendly dental hygiene products on the market, and only these should be used on pets.

Some pet brushes on the market include finger brushes and smaller pet toothbrushes. Lots of pets and their owners prefer finger brushes, as it gives the owner more control over the teeth cleaning and doesn’t put the pets off as much. Finger brushes simply slip over your finger tip giving you maximal control as you clean out Buddy’s mouth. If you decide to go with a more traditional pet toothbrush, make sure you get the proper size for Buddy or Bella’s mouth. Small dogs have small mouths and need small toothbrushes!

It is also important not to use human toothpaste when you brush Bella’s mouth. She isn’t going to like mint flavor and she won’t know how to spit it out when you’re done. This is why pet friendly toothpastes come in flavors like poultry or beef and aren’t meant to be spit out when the brushing is done.

Aside from good old-fashioned tooth brushing, Buddy can also benefit from dental care dog biscuits, oral sprays, and oral gels. Of the three, as you can probably guess, Buddy will prefer the dental biscuits. If you are already giving Buddy a biscuit or two a day, why not make it one that will help improve her teeth? However, if Buddy’s mouth, teeth, and/or breath are in pretty bad shape, your veterinarian might recommend stronger products, like the oral sprays and the gels.

Benefits of Buddy’s Cleaner Mouth
Having a cleaner, healthier mouth will benefit both you and Buddy. Not only will he have fresher breath (so you can snuggle him extra close) and healthier teeth, but his overall health will be better, too. Like humans, when dogs have healthier mouths they have less health problems with their hearts, livers, and even kidneys. If proper dental health care for Buddy and Bella means fresher breath, less health problems and prettier smiles, then every owner should be more than happy to start taking pet dental care more seriously. And not just in February, but during every month of the year.

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