Many pet parents may not realize that dental care for your furry loved one is just as important as annual health exams and vaccinations. Starting as a young animal, it is a good idea to set standards for good oral health, much as you would a child. Regular brushing of teeth, annual exams, and knowing what to look for is a great start! For those of us with older furry friends, either through adoption or simply starting a dental routine later in life, the same care applies. Brush their teeth and check with your vet to see if they need something more in depth to jump start their oral health!
Q: How often should I brush my pet’s teeth?
A: You should brush your pet’s teeth daily! It may seem like a lot, but this will prevent the buildup of tartar and gingivitis, which can in turn prevent a multitude of other health issues, not all of them related to your pet’s mouth!
Q: What kind of toothpaste should I use on my pet’s teeth?
A: The first thing to remember is to NOT use the same toothpaste you use in your own human mouth! There are a multitude of animal tooth paste options available to pet owners, over the counter. Check with your veterinarian for recommendations specific to your pet, and then check your local pet supply stores. There are often a multitude of flavors to help your pet accept the intrusion more easily.
Q: What kind of toothbrush should I use?
A: There are a variety of tooth brushing devices available to you. Make sure to select a brush that fits your pet’s size: A smaller brush for smaller animals and a larger one for the larger breed pets. There are also finger brushes available for cats or small dogs, if that seems to work better for your pet!
Q: How does brushing my pet’s teeth work?
A: Check out this video to see a great demonstration on brushing your pet’s teeth!
Q: What if my pet won't allow me to brush their teeth or I don't have time for it?
A: There are a multitude of dental care options available to you if you cannot brush your pets teeth. Consult with your veterinarian about gels, dental sprays, and water additives that can help do some of the work for you. There is nothing quite as effective as brushing, but doing something is always better than nothing.
Q: How much does a dental procedure cost at your clinic?
A: We offer a variety of dental packages that include many options. Price varies depending on the pre-anesthetic care you request, as well as potential extractions. We always strive to keep things affordable for our clients so give us a call today to go over the options that would best suit your furry friend!
Another question that often occurs: what happens when my veterinarian is suggesting a dental cleaning for my pet? Is it necessary? Will it hurt or be life threatening? Let’s answer those questions!
Your pet’s dental health is just as important to your veterinarian as the rest of your pet’s body. When your veterinarian recommends a dental cleaning for your pet, they are doing so because they believe it to be the best course of treatment for your pet’s specific and unique dental situation. Dental procedures are conducted under anesthesia, so there is always the same risk that applies with any anesthetic procedure. We offer a variety of recommended pre-anesthetic screening processes designed to identify and lessen any potential risks or concerns. These tests include checking your pet’s organ and bodily functions through bloodwork and looking for issues with your pet’s heart function using an echocardiogram.
The veterinarian will call you during the procedure to notify you about any necessary tooth extractions. It is important to recognize that tooth extractions are a regular and necessary part of oral health in your pet. Their teeth can decay and become a contributing factor in periodontal disease, which can spread to your pet’s organs and cause a multitude of health problems. These problems can include chronic pain, kidney problems, and heart concerns. Your veterinarian will then perform these extractions while your pet is anesthetized. They are not aware of pain during the procedure and are closely monitored by veterinary technicians.
The veterinarian will give an injection for pain management if there have been extractions, as well as antibiotics to prevent infection. Your pet may also take a prescription of antibiotics home with them, depending on their procedure. Most pets are fully recovered from their anesthesia in a matter of hours, and they will be sent home at the end of the day as we closely monitor their recovery.
Your pet’s health is our entire business! Let us make your pet’s oral and dental health our primary concern! We love questions, so please do not hesitate to contact us with any request or queries!
Digital dental radiography:
Dental disease is one of the most common problems encountered by veterinarians. In fact, it is estimated that by the age of two years old, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some form of dental disease.1 Unfortunately, pets rarely show signs of dental pain and without obvious changes to the visible portions of the teeth, veterinarians often have no way of knowing if disease is present. All of our patients can benefit from digital radiography!
Our system allows us to quickly take and evaluate teeth during dental cleaning and can be included in some of our dental packages. Dental radiographs provide invaluable information about oral health and give us a baseline for ongoing therapy and at-home care. Please ask us about dental radiography today.
1Niemiec, Brook A. "The Importance of Digital Radiography." Today's Veterinary Practice. N.p., Nov. 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2012.