Cleaning Your Pet's Teeth
All dogs require regular dental cleaning as a preventative process for developing infections, tartar (plaque), and mouth ulcers. You can brush your pet's teeth so their dental hygiene is regularly maintained. Eating treats that are designed for cleaning the teeth will also suffice as a temporary measure. It's important you keep an eye on their teeth and gums. Their teeth will stain over the years and this is natural, but their gums should always remain a soft pinkish red color.
By checking your pet's teeth regularly, this will avoid potentially severe dental disease. Simply open their mouth and check the teeth to ensure there is nothing abnormal growing, such as a lump by the tooth or at the gum area. Also check their gums remain a soft pinkish white. This is the sign of a healthy mouth. When your pet has their annual checkup and vaccinations, your vet will also check their mouth for any infections.
Signs to Watch Out For
There are obvious signs you need to check regularly. These include halitosis, reluctance to chewing, yelping when eating, and increased saliva when eating. This can be a result of a poor diet. Pets should only eat nutritional food designed for their age and weight. When you check their teeth, also ensure you keep an eye out for any bleeding gums or red and puffy gums. This can be the sign of a mouth infection. The tartar will build up over the years but you should be aware of how much this brown or yellow staining is forming, especially on younger pets.
As plaque builds up on the teeth, this turns into tartar. This is when periodontal disease and tooth loss can occur. The bacteria will not only damage their mouth but will trigger a negative offset to their heart and kidneys. The moment you detect these symptoms, you must take your best friend to the vet.
When your pet is around eight months old, their adult teeth will have replaced the puppy set. After one year old, you can then start to brush their teeth every month. You must only ever brush their teeth with canine toothpaste and a double ended toothbrush. The brush has small bristles at one end and a larger head at the other, simply to clean the large teeth and smaller spaces. Brushing their teeth should be through a back to front motion at the sides of their mouth. Teeth at the front should be brushed towards their mouth opening to avoid gum bleeding.
If you cannot control your excitable pet during teeth brushing time, you can take them to your vet to have professional teeth grooming. The vet will take a blood test a few days prior to ensure your pet is healthy enough for an anesthetic. Fido will not be able to eat the night before the cleaning though. If your pet does not have anesthetic cleaning, they will not require the blood test. The teeth will be scaled and polished and your vet will detect any mouth issues that need addressing.
It's important you take care of your dog's dental hygiene regularly. Having a teeth cleaning at home once a month is critical to their health and wellbeing. Preventative care through brushing maintenance, with a canine toothpaste and toothbrush, will delay the onset of any potential bacteria or mouth diseases. If you feel uncomfortable cleaning your pet's mouth, you can set up an appointment for your vet to do this annually.