One area of veterinary medicine and pet health care that is often overlooked is the importance of the oral cavity and teeth. In fact, nearly two thirds of all dog and cat owners are not providing essential dental care to their pets as recommended by their veterinarian.
The mouth is a major source of disease and poor health. Dirty, cruddy, decaying teeth cause many more problems than just bad breath. In some forms of heart diseases and other systemic diseases that effect the liver and kidneys, the condition of the teeth are often the root cause.
If you have ever experienced a tooth ache or an abscessed tooth, you are well aware of the kind of pain and discomfort that it can cause and if left untreated can only get worse. The same is true for your pets, a small problem left unattended can easily develop into a costly major condition.
Every veterinary examination should begin with a close inspection of the mouth and teeth. Prevention is the best policy. Today, most veterinarians will encourage a pet owner to brush their pet’s teeth. Brushing can be accomplished with most dogs and cats and it does several things. It develops a trust between the owner and the pet, it keeps the teeth and oral cavity cleaner and reduces harmful bacteria, and it makes it more likely that the pet owner can discover a minor condition before it becomes a costly major problem.
You will need a few things to brush your pet’s teeth. First get a pet approved toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste, as these can contain too much fluoride for your pet, plus pet toothpastes come flavored in flavors like poultry and beef that your pet will actually like. It is a good idea to find which flavor your pet prefers as this will make brushing that much easier. You will also need a toothbrush designed for pets and one that is the right size. Your veterinarian can offer recommendations. Apply the paste to the brush and begin brushing in a straight side-to-side path. Concentrate on the outside facing part of the teeth as 97% or tartar occurs here. Your pet will usually be able to use their tongue to keep the inner side clean. Most veterinarians recommend daily brushing, or at least regular and consistent brushing.
At Animal Medical Center we can also recommend other helpful products such as dental gels, dental diets, water additives and even some chew toys that can aid good dental health.
Our small animal clinic in Fayetteville, Arkansas is equipped with an ultrasonic dental unit and a technician trained to clean and polish your pet’s teeth. Even if you brush your pet’s teeth every day this procedure should be performed annually or more often if needed. We are also equipped to do extractions as well as fillings and root canals.
Your pet needs dental care and not just for the health of their teeth and gums. An unhealthy mouth can lead to problems of other major organs which can quickly shorten the life expectancy of your pet. Regular, professional care from your Fayetteville veterinarian, as well as care at home from you will help keep your pet feeling good and healthy.
For more information on our dental procedures and to schedule an appointment visit our website: