Does your pet have a healthy smile?
It's really important to have one for your Dog, or Cat.
And it often takes a professional's eye to see a problem...
Healthy smiles mean healthy teeth, and healthy teeth are very important for keeping your pet healthy!
It's not as much about cavities as it is a buildup of plaque and tarter.
Humans more commonly lose calcium from their tooth enamel, exposing them to decay. For our pets, it's a more common issue with periodontal disease. Periodontal disease occurs when the accumulation of plaque and tartar cause damage to the gums tissues surrounding the teeth and can often cause infection deeper into the tooth's socket. This will often cause your pet discomfort or pain!
Plaque buildup can be prevented or at least reduced.
Daily brushing is your best defense! There are a variety of "brushes" available these days, and pet safe (meant to be swallowed) kinds of toothpaste.
It may be a little hard at first, but most pets become accepting of the daily routine and often will come to enjoy the added attention!
Are there alternatives?
Not that are equally effective. Some chew toys will help delay or even reduce plaque buildup. There are even pet foods, that make claims of better dental health for your pet. Be cautious though, some of them use chemical additives to assist in plaque removal (it's best to speak to your Veterinarian about these products).
Regardless of what your routine, it's important to get your pet to your vet for regular dental exams. Once problems with plaque build-up start, it can become dangerous to your pet's overall health and costly for you!
As horrible as it sounds, there are some nonaccredited veterinary hospitals and even pet stores and groomers that are offering "nonanesthetic pet dentals" which can be painful, and stressful to your pet. They often do not treat issues under the gum line and can be potentially dangerous!