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Teeth Cleaning for Dogs and Cats

Published on September 9th, 2016

Having your pet’s teeth cleaned regularly by a veterinarian is very important. By the time they are three years old, many cats and dogs already have periodontal disease. Not only can ignoring your pet’s teeth lead to bad breath, but bacteria that lives under the gum can travel throughout the body, affecting their heart and other organs. Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth at home is something that should be done, but in order to remove built up tartar and plaque, a professional cleaning is required.

Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning

When that veterinarian performs a dental cleaning, not only is tartar and plaque removed, but also all of your pet’s mouth, including the tongue, lips, gums, and teeth, are inspected. Dental cleanings may include the following:

  • Removing tartar and plaque not only from the teeth, but also from under the gums.
  • Checking all tooth sockets for signs of disease.
  • Polishing the teeth to remove scratches where bacteria could grow.
  • X-rays in order to check for problems under and below the gums.
  • Any broken or infected teeth may be removed.
  • Full inspection of the mouth for any wounds, growths, or other problems.

Signs that Your Pet Needs a Cleaning

You should regularly inspect your dog’s or cat’s mouth at home. If you notice a brownish gold buildup close to the gum line on their teeth, you’re seeing tartar. Signs of redness or even bleeding near the gum line can mean gingivitis. Other signs to watch for include bad breath, excessive drooling, pawing at their mouth, difficulty chewing their food, and loose or missing teeth. Schedule an appointment with your vet if you start to notice any of these.

Steps To Take At Home

There are things you can do at home to help with your pet’s dental health. Just like you brush your teeth every day, it is good for your pet as well. Depending on the size of your pet, you can use a child’s toothbrush or get a finger brush from your vet. Never use human toothpaste on your dog or cat as the fluoride content is toxic. They make special toothpaste in flavors such as chicken and seafood that they will love. There are many treats designed to keep tartar and plaque to a minimum, and you can also buy food that can help with this. The best thing you can do is to speak to your veterinarian and ask for his or her recommendations. Remember your pet deserves the best in oral health that you can provide.

At Portage Park Animal Hospital and Dental Clinic, we have experts in animal dental care to ensure that your pet’s mouth is healthy! Schedule an appointment with us today-your first visit is free!

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