Brush your pet’s teeth every day if possible. It is easier to start brushing when your pet is young slowly and gradually.
Gently rub along your pet's gums and teeth. Dip your finger in tuna water, chicken broth, or other liquid your cat may like. The most important area to focus on is the gum line, where the gums meet the teeth bacteria and food mix to form plaque. Start at the front of the mouth, then move to the back upper and lower.
Gradually introduce gauze over your finger and rub the teeth and gums in a circular fashion.
When your pet can handle the gauze, try brushing with a toothbrush specially designed for pets or ultra-sensitive toothbrush designed for people.
Gradually add pet toothpaste, but never use people toothpaste or baking soda, as both will upset your pet’s stomach.
Use the following process to clean the inside surfaces of your pet’s teeth:
1. Place your hand over your pet’s muzzle from the top
2. Gently squeeze and push his lips on one side between the back teeth (to keep his mouth open)
3. Pull his head back gently so his mouth opens
4. Brush his teeth on the opposite side
5. Repeat this process for the other side
Avoid stress and keep sessions short and positive. If your dog continues to resist, try gently wrapping him in a large bath towel with only his head sticking out.
Dental care is necessary to provide optimum health and quality of life. Diseases of the oral cavity, if left untreated, are often painful and can lead to more serious health problems including heart, lung and kidney disease.
Regularly examine your pet’s teeth for signs of periodontal disease, such as dental tartar; red, swollen, or bleeding gums; bad breath; loose teeth or loss of teeth; pus between the gums and teeth and any unusual growth in the mouth.
Common signs of dental disease include:
•Yellow or brown build up (tartar) on the teeth
•Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
•Changes in eating or chewing habits
Even if your pet doesn’t have these symptoms, we recommend that you have a veterinarian evaluate your pet’s dental health at least once a year. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in irreversible periodontal disease and tooth loss.