Regular professional cleaning is important to maintain the health of your pet’s teeth. We use general anesthesia to clean and assess their teeth as thoroughly as possible, which includes modern and safe ultrasonic scaling to clean each tooth – above and below the gum line. Radiographs are used to detect disease hiding below the gum line. Dental technicians polish the teeth to create a smooth, lustrous tooth surface that is more resistant to plaque buildup. Fluoride treatments help strengthen enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity. Our veterinarians are trained in advanced dental extractions for those teeth that are too diseased.
Maintaining your pet’s teeth at home is just as important as keeping your own teeth clean! If we didn’t brush our teeth daily, they would quickly become diseased. The same is true for your pet’s teeth! When it comes to training your pet to enjoy having their teeth brushed, we suggest a “slow and steady wins the race” approach. Here is an example:
1) Set an alarm every night at 9pm (when I know my pet is usually in a calm state)
2) Connect the alarm with task at hand – “Okay Ellie! Time to clean our teeth!”
3) Bring to designated teeth cleaning area (table for small dog, specific rug for large dog)
4) Day 1 – Make pet sit, give treat (Specific treat ONLY given for teeth cleaning), praise, and release
5) Day 2 – Lift lip, praise, give treat
6) Day 3 – Touch teeth, praise, give treat
7) Day 7 – Rub teeth, praise, give treat
8) Day 14 – Introduce dental wipe or brush, praise, give treat
9) Day 30 – Full dental clean routine implemented, praise, give treat
Now, your pet may not progress at this exact pace. The point is to not rush them, as they don’t understand why you are doing this routine. If it is rushed, you may end up scaring them, and this can set you back substantially.
Pets with dental disease live in a constant state of pain and discomfort. If you have ever gone to the dentist for tooth pain, you may be able to understand how your pet feels! Most dogs and cats will not cry, whine or stop eating due to dental pain, which can make it more difficult for an owner to recognize that their pet is in discomfort. We recommend having your veterinarian evaluate your pet’s teeth at every visit. Removing diseased teeth creates a pain-free, happy and longer life!
The Veterinary Oral Health Council (www.vohc.org) has a lot of great resources on veterinary dentist recommended treats/diets, as well as how periodontal disease affects our pets.
Pets need healthy teeth as well, and making sure your furry friend has a healthy mouth is of the utmost importance. To schedule an appointment, please reach out to us today.Request an Appointment