The Importance of Brushing A Pet’s Teeth

Dog Teeth Cleaning in Colorado Springs

The Importance of Brushing A Pet’s Teeth

Dog Teeth Cleaning in Colorado Springs

Brushing A Pet’s Teeth

Tooth brushing for pets . . . it may sound silly to pet owners, but daily tooth brushing is important to maintain a pet’s good oral health. Can you imagine what our human mouths would look like without regular oral home care and professional cleanings? It should not be a surprise then, that our pets will develop periodontal disease (gum disease) if they are not receiving routine oral home care and regular professional cleanings. In fact, statistics indicate that by three years of age, 75-85% of dogs and cats will already have some degree of periodontal disease. At Animal Dental Care and Oral Surgery, located in Colorado Springs and Castle Rock, we understand that the gateway to your pet’s overall health is their mouth. That’s one reason we stress regular dental pet hygiene, which includes dog teeth cleaning in Colorado Springs.

It is ideal to begin oral home care when your pet is young. Brushing your pet’s teeth is the primary way to remove plaque (soft biofilm) before it turns into mineralized calculus. Different options for oral home care include oral rinses, gels, chews, and water additives. But daily brushing with a quality toothpaste and toothbrush made for pets is the gold standard of home dental care. Consistency, including time of day as well as location of oral home care, are also important for success. And just as professional dental cleanings are essential to keep human teeth and gums healthy, routine professional cleanings with your veterinarian are imperative for your pet’s home care: the two go hand-in-hand.

Avoid Periodontal Disease for Your Pet with Dog Teeth Cleaning in Colorado Springs

You don’t want your pet to get periodontal disease. It’s one of the key reasons for making regular brushing part of your pet’s care, especially since attempting to brush the teeth of a pet that has periodontal disease will be met with significant resistance because of their pain and discomfort. If periodontal disease is discovered, a COHAT (Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment) should be performed. The COHAT involves a complete oral examination, a full-mouth dental radiograph, and ultrasonic teeth cleaning. The purpose of the COHAT is twofold; to prevent your pet’s periodontal disease from causing further oral damage or pain; and to avoid the spread of bacteria into other parts of the body, which can cause additional inflammation and disease. The dental radiograph and ultrasonic scaling part of the COHAT will require anesthesia for dogs and cats.

What About Pet Toothpastes?

Toothpaste for humans has added fluoride to strengthen the tooth. However, we rinse our mouths after brushing. Dogs and cats require a toothpaste that can be swallowed, which means no added fluoride in order to avoid gastrointestinal upset and other toxic reactions. Fluoride has also been added to human toothpaste to help prevent dental caries, also known as cavities. Caries are not common in dogs and virtually non-existent in cats. This, along with the fact that dogs and cats are not prone to eating carbohydrate-rich foods like their human counterparts, makes adding fluoride unnecessary.

Choosing the right pet toothpaste can seem challenging at first. There are many different types of toothpaste for dogs, and cats, but most do not have scientific studies to prove their efficacy. If you’re looking for a quality pet toothpaste, two good options are C.E.T. enzymatic toothpaste and Healthymouth oral gel.

  • C.E.T. enzymatic toothpaste is formulated specifically for dogs and cats. It contains no foaming agents and is safe for pets to swallow.  Flavors include poultry, malt, beef, seafood, and vanilla mint. The vanilla mint flavor is hypoallergenic and can be used in pets with food allergies.
  • Healthymouth gel has 11 flavors, which include dog original (no added flavor), cat original (including some salmon oil), peanut butter, cinnamon bun, pumpkin spice, blueberry, cranberry, mixed berry, peach, tuna, and chicken broth.

The numerous flavors offered for both products should make it easier create a more positive experience for your pet when brushing their teeth. Both products can be obtained either through your primary care veterinarian, local veterinary dentist, or online. For more information on either of these pet toothpaste products, please click on either of the above links.

Brushing a pet’s teeth can do wonders for their health. If you live in the region of Castle Pines and Colorado Springs and you have any questions about your pet’s teeth and gums; or if you’re wondering whether your pet is showing signs of dental pain or disease; please give our staff at Animal Dental Care and Oral Surgery a call. Our priority is to see the four-legged member of your family stay strong and healthy for years to come!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/10/19) philhearing (Flickr)