A buildup of tartar and plaque on your dog’s teeth leads to more serious dental diseases such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. In the wild when dogs had to fight for their food, they fed on meat and raw bones. In the process of tearing meat apart and gnawing on large meaty bones, their teeth were virtually scrubbed clean of harmful deposits. Our pets are more pampered with softer diets and ingredients that seem to stick more to the teeth. These particles that remain on the teeth will later mineralize to form tartar and this can lead to many gum and teeth diseases. It does not mean that we must feed our dog’s raw meat and bones as that can cause other problems and health risk. However, we must get into a routine of proper oral health care for your dog.
There are some steps that you can follow in order to remove a buildup of tartar and plaque on your dogs’ teeth such as
• Scrape your dog’s teeth with a dental scaling tool. In order to do so, it is best to have your dog lying on its’ side, hold the lip up and scrape each tooth with tartar on it. Use the side of the tool to scrape any residue at the gum line. You may need to turn your dog over and do the other side of the mouth. For some dental routines, you may need the help of an “assistant”.
• Use a pet approved toothbrush and toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth at least three times a week. Find toothpaste that your dog favors because they do come in different brands and flavors. It will be easier to brush the teeth with paste your dog likes.
• Tooth wipes and tooth swabs are also available for cleaning your dog’s teeth. Sometimes the dog will accept the wipes/swabs rather than a brush. Finger brushes are also available.
• You can use baking soda and a washcloth to rub against the teeth in a slow firm movement.
• Specially formulated gels are available to remove the tarter and plaque. They soften the hardened deposits in the teeth and are available in various flavors and it is pleasant tasting for your dog. After applying the gel properly over the teeth, a brush should be used to remove the tartar buildup.
• Provide plenty of dental chews and rawhide bones to scrape away tartar buildup. Rawhides are also additive-free. There are also specialized chew toys available that also remove tartar buildup.
• Provide your dog with a special dental diet food which is harder to chew, scraping away tartar and plaque. Give your dog hard to chew foods and dog biscuits keep the teeth strong and free from tartar and plaque. Many dog biscuits are available specifically for keeping the teeth and gums clean and the breath fresh.
• The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) advises that all of these preventatives be performed regularly as well as following up with regular visits to your veterinarian. A professional dental exam and yearly professional cleaning is essential to the oral health care of your dog, especially when your dog ages.
There is much that you can do to prevent poor dental health and dental diseases in your dog. Keep on top of a good oral health care regimen; monitor and care for any plaque and tartar buildup, and your dog will have a brighter “smile” and fresher breath. Canine dental diseases affect more than just the mouth and keeping your dog’s mouth healthy will influence your dog’s overall health and happiness.