Chewing Vs Cleaning: What Helps with Dental Health

Who loves going to the dentist? Anybody with healthy teeth! Yes, many a time I’ve laid in the infamous dentist’s chair thinking “please don’t find a cavity, please don’t.” Sometimes I knew that I had not been brushing or flossing regularly, and I was sweating buckets. There were times that I got off lucky, other times – not so much. Our pets can also have dental issues, thankfully they have options too. Our dentists tell us to brush regularly, limit our sugar, and floss. We can do a lot for our pets’ teeth too, no flossing needs to be involved.

Every pet is different. Dental disease tends to affect small breeds much more than large breeds. Puppies should have their faces and mouths handled so that exams and dental care will not cause them any stress. There are specially formulated veterinary dental diets for adult cats and dogs that are great maintenance diets, which also have a special focus on dental health. Water additives are a great help if pets are not fond of anything or any hands in their mouths. Oral wipes and gels are available that are helpful to remove plaque and bacteria, and also improve mouth odour!

We all want to keep our pets happy and healthy. There are many great dental home care solutions that each of us can use to keep our pets’ mouths healthy. Dental cleanings may still need to be done, but hopefully not as often if we provide regular dental care at home. It is really important to take our pets to see their veterinarian each year. Dental disease needs to be addressed as soon as possible because it can have a negative impact elsewhere in our pets’ bodies. Everyone should enjoy having a healthy and happy smile, including our furry friends!

Written by Dr. Rhonda Boulter, DVM