April Dental Cleaning Month
Dog Teeth Problems
Cleaning your dog’s teeth may seem like a daunting task at first, but once it becomes routine, it will also become second nature. Keeping your canine friend’s teeth clean is an essential part of being a dog owner, and learning how to do it yourself will minimize or perhaps even eliminate the need for your veterinarian to do it. While cavities are quite rare in dogs, plaque does build up quickly and easily.
Dental problems in dogs are becoming an epidemic, so don’t ignore your dog’s oral health. It’s best to start the routine of cleaning your dog’s teeth when he or she is still a puppy, but don’t give up if your dog is older. Your friend may be a little less tolerant the older he gets, but if you take it slowly, you can be successful at cleaning your dog’s teeth, no matter what his age. Cleaning your dog’s teeth should be a daily routine, though cleaning them every other day is fine, too. Feeding your dog quality food and giving him lots of hard bones to chew on will keep his teeth much cleaner and healthier.
Dog Teeth Cleaning Technique and Tips
First, gather all the supplies you’ll need to clean your dog’s teeth so that they are all at hand. You may want to try a washcloth, a toothbrush, gauze or a rubber cap.
Begin in a Calm State of Mind
When you’re ready to begin cleaning your dog’s teeth, it’s crucial to start slowly, when he and you are both relaxed, try not to scare him. He won’t have much of an idea what’s going on at first, and you don’t want to restrain or frighten him too much. Try going through the motions of cleaning your dog’s teeth with your finger to show him that this won’t be painful and that there is nothing to be scared of.
Advance to a Toothbrush
After your dog is comfortable, either sitting or laying down, try to advance to a toothbrush. If a toothbrush will not work out for now, try a rubber cap with a nubby surface. These tools are like rubber toothbrushes that are placed on the top of your finger, and are much gentler than toothbrushes. Don’t use toothpaste until your dog is comfortable with a toothbrush, but before you start brushing your dog’s teeth with toothpaste, put some on your finger and let your dog smell and lick it. Since dog toothpastes come in flavors that are pleasant to them, he will probably enjoy it.
Carefully lift your dog’s upper lip on one side and brush your dog’s teeth in a circular motion. Make sure to clean the gum line, and work all around the mouth, gently brushing each tooth. After the top teeth are clean, move on to the bottom teeth.
Use a scaling too to scrape down from your dog’s gum line toward the bottom of the tooth. Move the tool downward to prevent injury. When scraping the teeth, do it in small sessions that don’t last for more than a minute of two, and reward your dog with a crunchy biscuit or a bone afterwards.
Dog Teeth Cleaning Products
Remember to only use oral products that are designed for dogs. Human toothpaste is not edible, and your dog is not able to spit. There are a myriad of dental care products available for dogs that remove tartar, irritation, ringworm kill germs and prevent gum disease. It’s easy to find pastes, sprays and gels in all sorts of flavors including salmon, peppermint, vanilla, chicken and more. These toothpastes are formulated to be non-foaming and edible. Choose a toothbrush with a comfortable handle that will be appropriate for the size of your dog. Always go slowly and be gentle when cleaning your dog’s teeth, no matter what supplies you choose.
Cat Teeth Problems
Have you ever wondered how to clean your cat’s teeth effectively and safely? There are many reasons for cleaning your cat’s teeth, and many different ways to go about it. Here are a few reasons why it is important to clean your cat’s teeth and several ways to approach it.
Dental hygiene is as important for cats as it is for human beings. Cats need healthy teeth for eating properly and defending themselves, and are prone to the same sorts of tooth problems that people are. Cats can suffer from tooth decay as a result of prolonged buildup on their teeth and gums, which eventually results in pain and tooth loss. Tarter buildup, along with inflamed gums, can be signs of periodontal disease, another consequence of ignoring hygienic care. Periodontal disease can cause infection of the gums and eventually leads to the teeth rotting and falling out. Perhaps more serious is the fact that it can also cause heart, liver, and kidney damage. Cats receiving no dental care can also be susceptive to resorptive lesions, a painful disease that gradually erodes away the teeth.
Cat Teeth Cleaning Techniques and Tips
There are several different ways to approach cleaning your cat’s teeth, including brushing them yourself, using specially designed treats, or allowing a vet to do it. One of the easiest and most common ways to clean a cat’s teeth is as follows.
Use a Strip of Sterile Gauze
Take a strip of sterile gauze and wrap it around your index finger on your dominant hand. Place either a small amount of toothpaste or a few drops of sterile solution on the gauze at the tip of your finger.
While holding your cat firmly, open its mouth gently and rub the teeth in a circular motion, giving special attention to the area adjacent to the gums.
The American Veterinary Medical Association advocates dipping your finger in a little tuna oil so as to make the experience more enjoyable for your cat. If you can get your cat accustomed to this method, it is possible to upgrade to a small child’s toothbrush. Brushing your cat’s teeth in this manner utilizing special toothpaste or gel is arguably the easiest and most effective.
Special Cat Treats
Another method involves giving your cat special treats designed to clean its teeth as it chews. Although many of these products that are available claim to clean a cat’s teeth, to be on the safe side you should consult your vet about which brand to choose as some varieties are said to be a choking hazard and are not effective.
The last and perhaps the best method getting your cat’s teeth clean is to spend the extra money to have it done at the vet. A veterinarian has a wide array of tools at his or her disposal and can clean your cat’s teeth in the most complete and effective manner.
Cat Teeth Cleaning Products
Several different kinds of products are available to combat poor dental hygiene in cats. A vast array of flavored toothpastes is available in flavors such as chicken and fish. These can make a tasty and effective means of cleaning your cat’s teeth, generally by using the aforementioned method of “finger brushing”.
There are also many brands offering small toothbrushes that are specially designed for cats, along with gels and other teeth cleaning solutions for your cat. Other sorts of toothpastes and teeth cleaning solutions can be found at the veterinary office and offer increased effectiveness.
Lastly there is the option of using specially made treats that clean your cat’s teeth as they chew. However, as mentioned above, it’s a good idea to check with a vet before choosing one of these products.