Can I Clean My Dog’s Teeth?

Can I Clean My Dog's Teeth?Cleaning your dog’s teeth is a good habit to get into. It’s important to avoid tooth decay, plague buildup and gum disease with preventative measures. These issues can lead to infection and other complications.

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Dental problems can develop as early as 2 or 3 years after birth. The good news is you don’t need to be an expert to care for your dog’s teeth. Careful cleaning of canine chompers has many benefits.

But caring for a pet dog’s teeth is a bit different from human dental maintenance. Even the toothpaste isn’t the same. Let’s bite into (pun intended) how can you ensure Fido’s mouth is healthy.

Can I Clean My Dog’s Teeth? Answer: Yes, you should!

It will go a long way towards preventing diseases from developing.

Brush your dog’s teeth, especially their gums, with a special animal-formulated toothpaste at least 3 or 4 times per week. This will prevent periodontal disease. Do this while your pet is young to head off issues before they develop. Prevention is key when it comes to doggie dental hygiene.

Quality dry kibble helps to keep a dog’s teeth clean. This food is abrasive and has the effect of keeping off food coatings. Wet dog food doesn’t work like that.

A Few Things to Avoid

Don’t allow your dog to chew on things that are harder than their teeth. This includes real bones. They can break a tooth or splinter causing cuts inside the mouth. Never use mouthwash.

Also, the foaming action in regular toothpaste doesn’t make sense for dogs. They can’t spit, gargle or rinse properly after use.

Get the Right Supplies

Do yourself a favor and pick up a few quality canine toothbrushes.

Also, get a well-regarded toothpaste specifically designed for dogs.

You can also make your own toothpaste by mixing water and baking soda or potassium chloride. Don’t use regular toothpaste!

Best Cleaning Technique

While lifting the lips to expose their teeth, apply a generous amount of toothpaste designed for dogs on a 45-degree angle all along the gum line.

Alternatively, you can wrap your finger around gauze or a cloth and rub these same important spots in a circular way. Don’t be so rough since the gums can bleed if you apply too much pressure.

You can actually clean most of the key areas without even opening your dog’s mouth. Watch this video!

Focus on where the gums meet each tooth. This is called the Gingival Sulcus. Reaching those areas is an smart preventative measure for your dog’s health, quality of life and your wallet.

Schedule Periodic Cleanings

Cleaning your dog’s teeth doesn’t eliminate the need for a more comprehensive cleaning to be performed by a vet. A thorough teeth cleaning usually requires the dog to be anesthetized.

An instrument called a curette, or an ultrasonic scaler, scrapes build-up and tartar from the dog’s teeth at or near the gum line.

When the work is all done, they’ll polish the teeth and rinse out their mouth to remove loose plaque or diseased tissue found during the cleaning process.

Conclusion on Dental Health

Bad breath is common in canines. Preventative care is crucial. Terrible dog breath is usually due to Gingivitis and gum disease. Be proactive with routine teeth cleaning to keep your dog smelling their best and to fortify dental health. Invest in your pet’s well-being by making regular vet visits. Maintaining healthy teeth is a rewarding part of dog ownership.

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Dr. Stephanie Flansburg Cruz, a practicing vet, has reviewed and endorsed this article. She has 3 dogs of her own and cares about the welfare of all animals.


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