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Dog Dental Care - How to Take Care of Your Dog's Teeth

Your dog's oral health impacts its overall health, so it's important to ensure that its teeth and gums are clean and healthy. Today, our All Bay Animal Hospital vets share some ways to keep your pup's teeth in tip-top condition. 

Why Should I Worry About My Dog's Teeth?

Like humans, dogs' dental health is closely related to their physical and well-being. Unfortunately, periodontal disease and tooth decay are common problems for dogs, even for young ones.

These oral health issues can seriously affect pets' overall health, as bacteria from periodontal disease can travel through the dog's body. That's why it's important to take simple steps to keep your pet's mouth healthy.

How to Clean a Dog's Mouth

Dog owners play a crucial role in ensuring their canine companions' dental health. Here are some tips for maintaining your dog’s oral hygiene:

  • Make daily brushing a part of your dog’s oral health routine. Use a finger brush or dog-specific toothbrush to remove plaque or debris from your pup's teeth. If your dog isn't a fan of brushing its teeth, it may help to apply a small amount of canine toothpaste to the brush. These products come in a range of flavors your dog will love.
  • Use a plaque prevention product (ask your vet for trustworthy recommendations) that you can apply to your pet’s gums and teeth. These products help prevent plaque buildup between professional cleanings.
  • Give your canine companion dental treats, food, or chews designed to help keep plaque buildup and tartar away.

Why Does My Dog Need Professional Teeth Cleaning?

While maintaining an at-home oral care routine (and potentially supplementing it with dental chews or treats) is an important step in preventing plaque and tartar buildup, regular visits to the vet for professional cleanings are crucial to ensuring your dog’s mouth stays clean and healthy.

Without these annual cleanings, teeth can become covered with plaque, leading to bad breath, gingivitis, and eventually periodontal disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. This can also have severe consequences for your pup’s overall health, as periodontal disease may lead to heart disease (when bacteria enter the bloodstream through the mouth, they can infect other organs).

Dental care is an essential element of your pet’s overall physical health. Schedule your dog’s annual dental appointment today - your furry friend will be grateful!

What Happens During Professional Teeth Cleaning?

We recommend booking an annual dental checkup for your dog. You may need to bring them in more frequently if they are prone to dental problems.

Your veterinarian will perform an oral health evaluation, looking for signs of dental problems, including:

  • Plaque or tartar buildup
  • Bad breath
  • Swelling, pain, or bleeding in or around the mouth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Loose or broken teeth
  • Extra teeth or baby teeth that have been retained

You can also take this opportunity to let your vet know if you’ve noticed any symptoms such as drooling, dropping food from the mouth, reduced appetite (which could indicate your dog is experiencing pain in his teeth), or abnormal chewing.

Your vet will also determine whether your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia and perform additional diagnostics if required. Once you safely anesthetize your pet, we complete a full oral exam (tooth-by-tooth) and charting.

While safely under anesthesia, their teeth will be cleaned and polished (in addition to their gum line). The vet will probe and radiograph each tooth, then apply a fluoride treatment before using a dental sealant to fight plaque. A custom treatment plan can help restore your pet's oral health if we find advanced periodontal disease.

Is it time to have your dog's teeth examined and cleaned? Book an appointment at All Bay Animal Hospital today. Our vets can help restore and maintain your four-legged friend's optimal oral health.

New Patients Welcome

All Bay Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Concord companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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