Do not wait for these signs before beginning a preventive dental care program! Signs of dental disease include:
No matter your pet’s age, good dental health begins with the first dental exam and continues with regular prevention and at-home care. Following your pet’s dental exam, we may recommend a professional teeth cleaning to prevent the pain and dangers of dental disease. This may include an anesthetic, scaling and polishing, and possible restorative dentistry.
At Prairie Lane Veterinary Hospital, we typically recommend yearly or bi-yearly dental exams and cleanings.
Your pet’s teeth are prone to disease just as your own teeth are. Over time, oral bacteria colonize on the teeth, forming plaque and tartar build-up that leads to gingivitis, tooth decay, and dental disease. Oral bacteria is also linked to infections of the upper respiratory tract, tonsillitis, pneumonia and even heart disease, all of which are life-threatening. Thankfully, many of these painful conditions are preventable when proper dental care begins at a young age and continues throughout your pet’s life.
Dental cleanings are performed under general anesthesia for the safety of your pet and our medical team.
At-home dental care consists of a proper diet and regular brushing of your pet’s teeth.
Dry foods are the diet of choice for most pets. There are several prescription diet dog and cat foods available to reduce tarter and calculus formation on the teeth. At Prairie Lane Veterinary Hospital, we carry Royal Canin Dental K-9 and Feline prescription diet food. The kibble texture and shape promotes a gentle effect on teeth during chewing to support plaque reduction. Treats such as dry biscuits, rawhide bones, and Nylabones can be used for dogs to encourage chewing which reduces tartar and calculus formation.
We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth daily or weekly to remove plaque and tartar accumulation. Most pets can be trained to tolerate tooth brushing, especially if the routine begins at a young age. Choose a quiet and calm place to brush your pet’s teeth and be gentle and patient. It may take time to get your pet used to the idea, but the benefits are enormous!
Please remember, human toothpaste can upset a pet’s stomach so only use pet-safe products. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush the outer surfaces of the teeth. The inside surfaces of the teeth are usually cleaned fairly well by the tongue, however, some animals will need both the inner and outer surfaces cleaned. For pets that won’t accept a toothbrush, try wrapping a small piece of gauze around your finger.