The best way to treat dental disease is to prevent it from developing in the first place. Unfortunately, periodontal disease starts developing very quickly after a dental cleaning. The fact is many pets are at a genetic disadvantage when it comes to periodontal disease. It is an ongoing fight. This is where you come in. There are several things you can do to prevent dental disease from developing as quickly. Your pet may likely still require dental cleanings but effective home care will prevent most major dental problems saving your pet pain and suffering and ultimately saving you money. Below is a list of different techniques for dental home care, starting with the most effective. Regardless of which technique you use home care should be used daily to be most effective.
- Brushing. There is nothing more effective. While not all pets will tolerate this a surprising number will. Generally, if you can put your finger in your pet’s mouth without them biting you or struggling, you probably can brush your pet’s teeth. There are a few different types of tooth brushes for pets, but you must use a pet toothpaste. Human toothpaste is not appropriate for pets. For the same reason we brush our teeth every day, you should brush your pet’s teeth every day. Brushing your pet’s teeth may be a new idea for many of us but once you get used to the idea it is usually a matter of making it a habit and routine for you and your pet. We will be happy to discuss proper technique with you for brushing your pet’s teeth. One last note on brushing, if you have a puppy we suggest starting brushing their teeth around 12 weeks of age. This will get them used to having this done and make it easier for you to brush their teeth when they are adults.
- Oral Hygiene Rinse. We recommend CET Oral Hygiene Rinse. This is an oral antiseptic designed for dogs and cats and can be very useful in reducing the bacterial load present in the mouth and cuts down of gingivitis. This should be used daily. We will be happy to demonstrate how to use this product.
- Dental Chews. There are numerous dental chews on the market. Most do not have much scientific evidence that they are effective. The ones we recommend have been shown to be helpful in dental disease. They are CET Hextra Chews, CET Veggie Dents, and Greenies. You may have to try a few to see what your pet prefers.
- Dental Diets. There are a few prescription dental diets that can be helpful in reducing plaque and tartar. We use Puirina DH, for dogs and cats. This is not an over the counter diet. It is formulated in such a way that the kibble is larger than regular kibble and doesn’t shatter the same way when the teeth bite into it. It has a mechanical scraping effect on the teeth. It is particularly effective for the molars and premolars. It can be fed as a sole diet or as a supplement to your pet’s normal diet. It is quite convenient when you simply cannot brush your pet’s teeth.
- Water Additives. When all else fails, we recommend CET Aquadent, a water additive designed to reduce the bacteria in your pet’s mouth. It is important to follow the directions correctly on diluting this product and offering it to your pet to get the best result.