VETERINARY DENTISTRY AT KINGSBROOK ANIMAL HOSPITAL
Preventing oral disease is just as important for your pet as it is for us! Oral diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis cause serious health problems if left untreated. Signs of oral diseases in dogs and cats include:
- Loss of appetite or loss of weight
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth, broken teeth, teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
- Sensitive to touch in area of face or mouth
- Drooling or dropping food from the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Unfortunately, most pets with oral disease show no signs at all!
Plaque and tartar that build-up on your pet’s teeth lead to painful gingivitis and progresses on to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that causes permanent damage including loss of teeth and damage to the bones of the jaw. It also leads to more serious conditions like heart and kidney disease.
Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s recommendations for oral care aim to prevent your dog and cat from developing these harmful oral diseases. During an oral cleaning, we place your pet under anesthesia and perform a comprehensive oral examination. Our veterinarians will examine individual teeth for mobility, fractures, and signs of periodontal disease. Since two-thirds of a tooth lies below the gumline, radiographs are taken to evaluate the tooth roots and jaw health. We use hand instruments and ultrasonic scalers to remove plaque and tartar. Finally, your pet’s teeth are polished to decrease plaque and tartar accumulation.
ORAL HOME CARE
WHY ORAL HOME CARE?
Home care is the most important aspect of your pet’s oral health. A healthy mouth improves the overall health and quality of a pet’s life. It can extend the life span of your pet and can reduce the frequency of anesthesia and professional cleanings.
Daily. Plaque, the sticky stuff that gathers on our teeth each night, collects on your pet’s teeth each night too! Plaque can be removed or at least decreased with consistant, daily home care. If plaque is left for more than a day, it will begin to harden and develop into tartar. Tartar can only be removed with a professional cleaning.
WHEN SHOULD I START?
The best time to start oral home care is when you pet is a puppy or kitten or after a professional cleaning.
WHAT DO I DO?
Brush Your Pet’s Teeth
This is one of the more challenging things to do, but also the most effective. Do not use human toothpaste – it is not safe to swallow. We recommend CET Enzymatic Toothpaste that comes in pet friendly flavors like poultry, malt, and vanilla mint. CET toothbrushes have longer handles and are best shaped for your pet’s mouth. Brush your pet’s teeth daily. If you are just starting, go slowly. Begin by rubbing your pet’s teeth and gums with your finger and work up to brushing over the course of serveral weeks to months. Give your pet a treat or fun reward afterwards. An excellent video demonstration can be seen below.
Maxi Guard Oral Cleansing Wipes
These specially treated pads can be used to gently rub your pet’s teeth and gums. While not quite as effective as brushing, some pets will tolerate these wipes more readily and some people find them easier to use.
Oral Gels and Rinses
Maxiguard Oral Cleansing Gel and CET Oral Hygiene Rinse are used to prevent bacterial growth and inflammation of the gums. Veterinary dentists love these products for pets with periodontal disease. Apply a small amount with a fingertip along teeth and gums daily.
OraVet Plaque Prevention Gel
This sealant acts as a wax on the surface of the tooth to repel the attachment of plaque and tartar. It should be used at least once weekly.
Hill’s Prescription Diet T/D
T/D kibbles are large enough to require more chewing and contain ingredients and fiber that help to mechanically brush the teeth while your pet eats. When fed exclusively, prescription T/D food reduces plaque and tartar accumulation by over 60% compared to regular diets. And most pets love the taste!
Greenies, and CET or Tartar Shield Raw Hide Chews are among the safest chews currently available for dogs. These can be used on a daily to weekly basis depending on your dog’s interest and tolerance. Always give with careful supervision.
Other reputable products can be found on the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s website by clicking here. VOHC evaluates products for efficacy & uts their seal of approval on products that really do benefit your pet