Here are guidelines to follow for brushing your dog’s teeth:
- Brushing should be done with a brush designed to remove plaque from under the gum line.
- Pick a time of day that will become a convenient part of you and your dog’s daily routine. Brushing before receipt of a treat can help your canine actually look forward to brushing time.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and veterinary toothpaste.
- Start by offering your dog a taste of the veterinary toothpaste. Then, next time, have him taste the toothpaste, running your finger along the gums of his upper teeth. Repeat the process with a toothbrush until your canine develops a comfort level.
If all that your dog lets you brush is the outside of the upper teeth, you are still addressing the most important area of periodontal disease – prevention. But, if your canine eventually allows you to brush most of his teeth, that’s even better.
Fractured Teeth in Dogs
Canines can suffer trauma resulting in a broken or fractured tooth. Signs of a fractured tooth in a dog may include:
- Changes in the tooth shape, color, or position
- Localized facial swelling or pain
- Reduced biting pressure during play or aggression training
- Reluctance or refusal to eat food
Professional treatments for tooth trauma in canines range from application of a fluoride or bonding sealant to root canal therapy and crown restoration. A severely damaged tooth may need to be extracted.
While it’s impossible to eliminate the risk of a fractured tooth in canines entirely, you can practice prevention by monitoring your dog during aggressive play and helping your dog refrain from chewing hard items. If tooth trauma has occurred, seek treatment immediately.
Dental Cleaning Products for Dogs
In between checkups and professional dental cleanings, you can improve your dog’s oral health at home by utilizing dental-friendly products. Seek items accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). Your canine will provide assistance by enthusiastically chewing on whatever products you furnish.
Examples of dental cleaning products for dogs include:
- Dental-friendly dog foods: Some foods help clean your dog’s teeth as he chews. Whereas moist dog foods encourage plaque and tarter buildup, dry foods are more orally-friendly.
- Dental rinses and wipes: Between brushes you can wash your dog’s mouth with an oral rinse or wipe designed to control tartar and freshen breath.
- Dental-cleaning chew toys: Various types of chew toys can nearly replicate the cleaning power of a dog-specific toothbrush.
Ultimately, dogs can’t really care for their teeth themselves, so their dental health rests in your hands. By ensuring your canine companion receives adequate oral care to treat and prevent periodontal disease, you’ll help keep the well-oiled machine that are his teeth in peak operating form.
Resources for Dog Dental Health
Want more useful advice regarding how you can manage your canine’s dental health? Check out our featured articles:
- Healthy Teeth Make a Healthy Pet
- How to Tell if Your Dog Has Dental Disease
- Keeping Your Dog’s Teeth Healthy
- How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
- Fractured Tooth in Dogs
- Ten Dental Cleaning Products for Pets