Every Month is Dental Health Month

We offer 10% off your pet’s dental treatment if you book within 4 weeks after your pets dental exam. And not just in February, but throughout the year. So book your free dental consultation now – just call us!

Dental Health

Did you know that by age three 80% of dogs and cats have oral disease? Did you also know that this is a preventable disease?

All it takes is starting with the right diet and home care!

Feeding a dental formula (dry food) to your dog helps preventing plaque buildup. For cats, add a dental dry component to your cats diet, keeping in mind that their diet should be mainly wet or canned food.

Plaque is a slime comprised of bacteria, saliva and food particles, adhering to the teeth and filling the pockets between tooth and gum. Plaque collects minerals from the saliva to form tartar.

By brushing your pet’s teeth, you remove plaque and slow down tartar build up and most importantly gingivitis and periodontitis! Start with your puppy! Yes, baby teeth will fall out, but what you teach your puppy is ‘a piece of cake’ for your adult dog. More importantly, you are in the routine once the permanent teeth erupt and your pet gets the proper dental care right from the start!

Tartar on dog’s tooth

Healthy Teeth = Happy Pet: Ask for our products to help keeping your pet’s teeth healthy!

Introduce the procedure gradually: teach your puppy to sit still in front of you, hold his snout in your left hand (closed), get your finger with some doggie toothpaste under his lips and rub his teeth and gums for a few seconds. From there on you extend the 3 seconds you started with until you have your puppy sitting still for 30-60 seconds and allowing you to do it. Switch your hands in between and hold the snout closed with the right hand to do your dog’s right side with your left hand! One minute is all it takes every day from then on for the proper teeth brushing. Once your puppy accepts your finger doing it, start with a toothbrush. It needs to be the right size for your dog, ask your vet about those tiny ones! It should be a soft toothbrush, human baby ones are fine, too.

Do not use the over-the-finger silicone brushes; they are ok for teaching, but too soft to truly brush!

There is a variety of flavors for doggie toothpaste available; it all depends on your puppies’ taste buds! Do not use human toothpaste. Dogs don’t like the flavor and it is meant to be spit out because of the fluoride in it. Dogs can’t spit and they don’t need the fluoride from the paste.

With all that you are laying a great foundation that your pet will not have dental disease as early as the age of 3! But despite all your efforts they might still need a dental cleaning performed under anesthesia by your veterinarian at an older age. During dental cleanings your vet evaluates your pet’s mouth completely and takes dental x-rays to assess the roots and surrounding bone as well. At your pet’s annual exam the teeth will be checked as thoroughly as your pet allows us to do so, detecting problems early and intervene before it requires major dental surgery. Keep in mind, we brush our teeth twice daily, floss once daily and see the dentist every 6 months (ideally) and despite that they always find something!

Mini-Toothbrush Kit

We are also happy to show you the right technique when brushing your pet’s teeth!

A few tips:

Do not feed bones to your dog! They can break teeth and do not help in preventing plaque buildup. Rawhides or toys to chew on are fine, but make sure your dog does not swallow large pieces of them!
There are also special treats available for cats to help with plaque buildup and preventing dental disease if you can’t brush your cats’ teeth. Ask us about feline greenies, they come in 5 different flavors! Again, start with your kitten, similar to the puppy. Feed 80% canned food and 20% dental formula, measured up. Do not free feed your cat or dog ever! It causes obesity and by constantly snacking on their food, especially if it is not dental formula, they constantly have food residue and plaque buildup. Feeding twice daily leaves 12 hours in between where the teeth can clean up by saliva and chewing on toys.

If you are not sure how to get started or you would like to make sure your pet does not have already dental disease, call us to make an appointment to get it checked!
Important information: Pet insurance only pays your pets annual dental cleanings if you sign up BEFORE they have any problems in their mouth. Best to get started at the first vet visit with your puppy and kitten when they are 8 weeks old. Ask us about your free 6 weeks pet insurance for them!
Another important tip: If you ever heard of non-anesthetic dental cleaning for pets or even considered it for your own pet, please click here and watch this video on Dr. Beckman’s website.

Watch this video on how to start brushing your dogs teeth:

Once your dog got used to brushing with a finger toothbrush, switch to a real pet toothbrush. It is a much more effective way to remove plaque.

Damage caused by bone chewing: severely worn teeth, fractured and covered with tartar
Damage caused by bone chewing: teeth worn down to the gumline