Protecting your pet’s pearly whites isn’t just about their appearance but their overall health. Oral health can be connected to other health issues and can cause your pet preventable pain. It’s important to schedule regular appointments for your furry friend, since studies show over 85% of dogs and cats over age 3 have some sort of dental or gum disease.
Why does my pet need dental care?
Since pets cannot take care of their teeth and gums alone, pet owners are entrusted to help them. Just like humans need yearly visits to the dentist, furry family members also need regular dental care visits. These visits help us assess your pet for harm to dental and gum diseases as well as perform routine cleanings to remove buildup like plaque or tartar. Dental disease happens when plaque (a combination of things like mucus and bacteria) hardens into tartar, which can only be removed with our special tools. Gum disease (gingivitis) is caused by tartar and can reduce their gum’s ability to protect against harmful bacteria entering the bloodstream. Call our team to schedule a dental appointment at 519-624-9760.
Is their dental care like a visit to the dentist?
When your pet has a dental care appointment, we perform a dental prophylaxis, which is like the routine cleaning you would get at your dentist. We use a probe or explorer as part of our dental exam to determine if your pet has periodontal (gum) disease. We also remove plaque and tartar, perform oral surgery to extract any teeth that cannot be saved, and polish the teeth to slow down future plaque build-up. Pets are put under general anesthesia since they can’t keep their mouths open for us. This helps us to safely remove any tartar below the gum line. We might also take dental X-rays to determine if there are any teeth that look like they may need to be extracted either now or in the future.
How should I be taking care of their oral health at home?
Dental care at home can make a world of difference for your pet. The earlier you start brushing their teeth, the more you’re building healthy habits that will support them from preventable diseases as they age. Ideally, try to dedicate 5 minutes each day to your pet’s dental routine, including brushing their teeth. If you’re struggling to develop a consistent routine, try to brush their teeth at least twice a week and slowly work your way up. Brush your pet’s outer teeth with a gentle side to side motion, making sure you get all the teeth, especially in the back of the mouth. Fortunately, most gingivitis in cats and dogs happens on the outside of the teeth, so usually you don’t have to brush the inside of your pet’s teeth, which can be difficult.