What You Should Know About Taking Care of Your Dog’s Teeth!

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Taking the time and effort to routinely clean your dog’s teeth will prevent tooth decay, plague buildup and gum disease.

Can I Clean My Dog's Teeth?Do nothing and poor dental hygiene will eventually result in serious infections and all sorts of other complications.

Preventative care is totally worth it! And the sooner the better because dental problems can develop as early as 2 or 3 years after birth.

While you don’t need to be an expert, caring for your dog’s teeth is a bit different from human dental maintenance.

Even the toothpaste is different! Keep reading…

You Can And Should Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

It’ll go a long way towards preventing periodontal disease from developing.

Thoroughly brush your dog’s teeth and gums 3 or 4 times per week with a specially designed animal-formulated toothpaste.

Ideally such a routine should start while your buddy is young!

Pro Tip: Quality dry kibble can also help to maintain teeth. Unlike wet dog food, dry kibble is abrasive and has the effect of keeping off food coatings.

A Few Things to Avoid

Do not allow your dog to chew on things that are harder than their teeth — including real bones.

Why is that?

Because they can break a tooth or splinter causing cuts inside the mouth.

And never use mouthwash.

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

Get the Right Supplies

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

Also get a toothpaste that’s been specifically designed for dogs.

FYI: Alternatively, you can make your own by mixing water and baking soda or potassium chloride. Just don’t use regular toothpaste!

Best Cleaning Technique

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

Or wrap your finger around gauze or a cloth and rub these same spots in a circular way. Don’t be so rough as gums can bleed if too much pressure is applied.

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 (AKA the Gingival Sulcus).

Reaching those areas is a smart preventative measure to take for good health, quality of life and your wallet!

Schedule Periodic Cleanings

Cleaning your dog’s teeth doesn’t eliminate the need for comprehensive cleanings to be performed by your vet.

A complete teeth cleaning usually requires the dog to be anesthetized.

Here’s how it works:

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.

They will also polish the teeth and rinse out their mouth to remove loose plaque or diseased tissue found during the cleaning process.

The Bottom Line

Bad breath is quite common in dogs due to Gingivitis and gum disease.

Preventative care is essential. Be proactive!

Do routine cleaning to keep your dog smelling their best and to fortify dental health.

Invest in your pet’s well-being by making regular visits to your vet. Maintaining healthy teeth is a rewarding part of dog ownership.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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10 thoughts on “What You Should Know About Taking Care of Your Dog’s Teeth!”

  1. Kibble contains starches which get stuck in the teeth and gums. This contributes to plaque and tartar buildup. In addition, dogs do not chew their food like people do because their teeth and jaws are designed to rip flesh from bones.

    A high quality wet food free of starch, or better a raw food diet will flush the teeth due to added moisture and will not contain starches to contribute to plaque and tartar. Furthermore, the live enzymes in raw foods help to break down plaque and tartar to clean the teeth.

  2. We use chicken-flavored toothpaste on our dog. I would recommend it.

  3. Vi Hawkins says:

    My Greyhound has gingivitis. My first Greyhound had 16 teeth taken out in one go. They were so bad when I got her, and each of her 3 years she got more removed. She only had 3 teeth when she died.

    Now, as I said, my other dog had some dental work done 3 months ago. Two teeth were removed and I was told to brush them each day, which I have been doing religiously. But her gums still bleed.

    I have been spraying them with colloidal silver. The vet had never heard of it.

    Does anyone have any other suggestion to what I can try? Her teeth look good and her breath sometimes smells not too bad, but there was bleeding this morning when brushing.

  4. My 18 pound Shihtzu is approximately 10 to 12 years old. He has an infection in his mouth from some bad teeth. I took him to the vet and she put him on antibiotics for two weeks and said he needs surgery.

    The antibiotics did not help and he has a terrible smell coming from his mouth. He constantly chews and sucks on his tail 24/7. The vet said it would cost 1,000 for them to pull those teeth and I don’t have that kind of money.

    Can anyone suggest what I can do to help my dog? The vet told me I should give up my dog to a shelter and they would take care of his medical needs. I’ve had him 9 years now and I love him. I can’t give him up.

  5. What kind of toothpaste do you use to brush dog teeth?

  6. I really love this website. Thank you so much, it is awesome!

  7. I did a better-home-puppy-trade. I owned a large sad dog in a small apartment. They owned a tiny escape dog on a large property. Both are very happy now. I enjoy Toms Of Maine toothpaste, it’s natural and no bubbles. Is this natural enough for my dog?

  8. Just took in an adopted dog from a pound shelter. She has a lot of problems because she’s been abused. She jumps at her own shadow, so pitiful. I’ve already fell in love with her. She’s half Beagle, a large dog, around 42 pounds. She’s 5 years old but acts so much older. She has front teeth, top and bottom, broken out to the gum and also has very bad breath. A loving sweet spirit!

    1. Have you been successful in getting rid of the bad breath?

    2. All I can say is you have a very kind and giving heart. God bless you and your new baby. May you have many years together.

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