Frequent visits to your veterinarian for professional cleanings are necessary for maintaining or improving the oral health of your pet.
In addition, proper dental care at home is highly recommended to help maintain the oral health of your pet. Although tooth brushing is the best method of preventing plaque, calculus, and bacterial build-up, there are many options for dental home care. In general, chew items should bend slightly with force or dimple a bit when a fingernail is applied. For a list of Veterinary Oral Health Council approved home care products go to www.VOHC.org . Below is a list of ideas for managing your pet's oral health.
Pet Formulated Toothpaste and Brushing
Contains excellent materials to fight oral disease. Brush teeth once daily to prevent periodontal disease, provide a positive bonding experience, and to daily assess changes in the oral cavity (lumps/bumps, color changes, fractured teeth, etc). On how to brush your pet's teeth, please click on tooth brushing .
Dental Formulated Foods
Dental formulated foods work in several different ways to mechanically or chemically slow down the progress of dental disease. Veterinary dental diets are completely balanced and can be used as the complete diet or may be added in with the existing food. Prescriprion Diet t/d targets plaque and calculus.
OraVet Tooth Sealant Placement
A waxy type sealant applied to the teeth during a dental cleaning and applied weekly at home thereafter.
A simple home care option that is added to water daily to slow down the accumulation of plaque and calculus.
Specially formulated chews for dogs and cats to help mechanically, and sometimes chemically, clean the teeth and remove plaque. Recommended chews include CET dental chews, Tartar Shield treats, and Greenies.
Toys that encourage chewing can help prevent calculus deposition. Kong and Kong-like toys are great at mechanically cleaning the teeth. Rope toys (be careful they are not shredded) are also beneficial. In general, toys should be able to be bent or indented and should not hurt when lightly tapped against your knee (the knee cap test).
To help prevent tooth fracture, the chewing of safe items should be encouraged and the following items should be avoided:
- Nylon Toys
- Cow Hooves
- Ice Cubes
- Other hard treats or toys
Additional Links for Oral Care In Your Pet
- Virbac and CET Products
- Hill's Pets Need Dental Care Too
- OraVet Barrier Sealant
- Veterinary Oral Health Council Approved Items
- Information about Dental Specialists and Dental Conditions
- Why teeth cleaning should not be performed without anesthesia
- Indiana Veterinary Dental Specialist Dr. Matthew Lemmons
- Tennessee Veterinary Dental Specialist Dr. Barden Greenfield