Should I Brush My Pet’s Teeth?

brown, short-eared dog sitting in car looking out the window

You know that you have to provide your pet special food, toys, exercise, and plenty of love. But did you know that if you have a dog or cat, you should also think about brushing their teeth too? While you may think that chew toys are enough to keep your pet’s teeth healthy and clean, oftentimes they need their teeth brushed just like we do.

Why Pets Need Consistent Dental Care

A very common ailment in dogs and cats, especially as they get older, is periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Gum disease is caused by untreated plaque and tartar buildup, which can cause gum inflammation and lead to painful tooth loss. Many of our dogs and cats eat carbohydrate-rich kibble, which makes it easy for plaque to develop on their teeth. Professional dental cleanings and treatments for oral diseases can be quite costly, so brushing your pet’s teeth daily is a good for those on a budget.

What You Need to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

Brushing your pet’s teeth may not be the easiest thing to do at first, but it gets better over time. All you need is a pet-friendly toothbrush and pet-friendly toothpaste (toothpaste for humans is toxic for pets). If your pet is afraid of the toothbrush in the beginning, try using a piece of wet gauze to rub over their teeth instead.

How to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

Try gently lifting your pet’s lips and touching their gums and teeth for just a few seconds at a time to start. The more comfortable they get with this, the more comfortable they will be with you brushing their teeth. Over the course of your next sessions, slowly introduce wet gauze with toothpaste, and then introduce the toothbrush with toothpaste. This may take weeks to do, but your pet will benefit from it in the long run!

How Often to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

Just like humans, pets should have their teeth brushed daily. But even if you’re only able to brush their teeth a few times a week, that’s much better than nothing! On the days that you don’t brush their teeth, give them a dental bone or treat to chew on.

Don’t forget to maintain your own dental health too in order to prevent gum disease! At Cary Family Dental, we are committed to delivering the best dental care to our patients, and we look forward to helping you have your best smile. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

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