Why Is Dental Care Important for Pets?

People are informed that annual dental cleanings and check-ups are critical for optimal dental care. We aren’t usually taught how crucial these same cleanings are for our dogs. At veterinary centers, it is known that pets seldom get adequate dental care. It is important to assist pet owners in realizing the importance of good dental care and give them the knowledge they require to care for their cats and dogs.

Why is it important to care for a pet’s teeth?

With good pet dental care, your pet can avoid problems like periodontal disease caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Plaque is a film that germs make on your teeth. As germs die, the calcium in your pet’s saliva may turn them into stone. 

Plaque that has hardened into tartar can lead to gingivitis, which can cause an infection in the tooth. In the later stages of periodontal disease, tissues around the tooth are damaged, and the tooth’s socket, which holds it in place, wears away. This causes the tooth to fall out.

Teeth that are broken are another common dental problem. If your dog or cat chews on hard toys and treats like antlers and bones, it could break its teeth. If a tooth is broken, the nerve may be exposed, which is painful for your cat. Also, the exposed nerve could get infected, making things worse for your pet.

What is a dental cleaning?

Doctors will place your pet under anesthesia during a dental cleaning to safeguard your pet and the veterinarian. The veterinarian will use dental instruments to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. 

The veterinarian that does dog annual checkup will next use a specific polishing paste to smooth out any scratches in the enamel of the teeth. A treatment from fluoride will be applied to the teeth to help strengthen and desensitize them while preventing further plaque formation.

The doctor that does vet urgent care in in Houston County will also take dental x-rays to examine your pet’s teeth above and below the gumline. These x-rays will help the veterinarian spot any issues that would not be obvious on the tooth’s surface. The veterinarian will also inspect to see if any teeth are damaged or diseased.

How can you help your pet?

Regular dental cleanings are required for pets since veterinary dentistry can eliminate built-up plaque. You can, however, do a few things at home to help maintain your pet’s teeth and gums healthy. 

Cats and dogs are similar to people in that frequent brushing help prevent the buildup of tartar and plaque, leading to periodontal disease. While regular brushing isn’t always simple, concentrating on cleaning your pet’s teeth may preserve the teeth in the long run. Purchase pet-specific toothpaste and a conventional or finger toothbrush, and gradually clean your pet’s teeth.

You should proceed to enable your pet to get used to the brushing. Allow your pet to lick some of the toothpaste off the brush. Brush just the front teeth at the start. You may begin cleaning all of your pet’s teeth when it becomes more comfortable. For a little more motivation, follow the brushing with a reward.

Although not as effective as brushing, you may purchase liquid and foam oral solutions that help destroy certain germs in your pet’s mouth. Some toys and treats may help eliminate plaque and tartar buildup from your pet’s teeth, but not all of them will. Before using these items for dental health, consult your veterinarian.

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