Apex Dog and Cat Dentistry
945 W. Jefferson Ave.
Englewood, CO 80110
(303) 810-6029
[email protected]

  • Step 1 For first time introduction of the toothbrush, dip the bristles into something tasty that your pet likes (e.g. cream cheese, peanut butter, flavored pet toothpaste). Now instead of forcing the toothbrush into your pet's mouth, offer it as a treat or toy. Let your pet lick and chew on the toothbrush as much as he wants. If it breaks, that's okay, get a new one. Also, offer the toothbrush many times in the day (e.g. 6-12 times). The idea with Step 1 is for your pet to begin associating the toothbrush with positive thoughts. Never force the toothbrush on a pet or forcibly restrain them. The goal is to seeing a wagging tail (for dogs) when the toothbrush is pulled out of a drawer because it's fun!
  • Step 2 After a week or so of offering the toothbrush as a treat, begin to gently wiggle it in your pet's mouth while they lick it. You are not actually using brushing strokes, just passively moving it. The goal here is for the pet to learn that the brush is not scary. It tastes good; the pet is never forcibly restrained; and oh yeah the brush moves but nothing scary ever happens. If not already started, this may be a good time to start adding pet formulated flavored tooth paste to the toothbrush. Ideally, a toothpaste like C.E.T. enzymatic toothpaste should be used. This product is formulated for dogs and cats, provides natural antibacterial action, is palatable, and formulated to be safe when swallowed by the pet.
  • Step 3 Finally, it is time to actually brush your pet's teeth. Getting to this step can take days to weeks depending on the willingness/stubbornness of your pet. From a health standpoint, the most important part of the tooth to keep clean is the area right at the gum line and just beneath the gum line. Obviously we'd like the whole tooth surface to stay clean and white as well. Many people have an easier time learning to brush their pet's front teeth (the incisors and canines). Then with experience, the brushing routine is moved to include the back teeth. The mouth does not need to be open to brush. Simply move the lips aside to allow the toothbrush access. Try to avoid handling the nose to avoid sneezing. Use circular strokes where teeth are crowded and back & forth strokes in less crowded areas. Ideally, the bristles of the soft or extra-soft bristled toothbrush should point at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line. For the truly devoted, battery-operated 'spin' toothbrushes are especially recommended!