When you get your dog, take care of his oral hygiene. Brushing his teeth regularly prevents tartar formation, but also serious health problems.
What is tartar?
Unlike humans, dog saliva is less acidic. As meals progress, bacteria accumulate more easily on the surface of the teeth. They form a slight orange film on the teeth of your pet.
This film can easily be removed with regular brushing of the teeth. On the other hand, if you let it develop, it will be what we call plaque.
Over time, it mineralizes and extends under the gum to form scale. This extension can result in:
• gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and bleeding gums while taking meals.
• mouth infections and abscesses that can lead to a decrease in appetite.
Tartar settles first on the bottom teeth (molars, premolars) before attaching to the fangs. It is also responsible for the bad breath of the dog.
These germs, present in the mouth of your animal, can spread in the blood and set dangerously on the various organs, such as the heart or the kidneys. Indeed, they can develop serious diseases in the elderly animal, such as heart or kidney failure.
Equipment to prevent scale formation:
For the good oral hygiene of your dog, you need:
• a soft-bristled toothbrush or a specialized brush for dogs.
• a fingerstall (rubber cap with asperities to put on the finger).
• a toothpaste specific to dogs, where the tastes are adapted to those of the animal (chicken or beef), and which does not require any rinsing.
Do not use the toothpaste you use for yourself. It is unsuitable and toxic for your dog due to the presence of fluoride.
When to start brushing your dog’s teeth?
You can use the fingerstall to acclimate to having a toothbrush in the mouth. Little by little, you can teach him to open the mouth and succeed in brushing the inside of the mouth.
However, you can totally teach an adult dog to be brushed while being a matter of patience.
Technique for brushing teeth:
In order to make handling easier, we advise you to brush your dog’s teeth as soon as it is calm. You can, for example, brush them after a walk.
For the safety of your companion, wash your hands and check that your nails are cut short before any intervention.
Approach him from behind, place one hand on top of his snout and lift his lips. Then, with the other hand, clean the teeth of your dog.
To do this, take either a toothbrush or a fingerstall and put a dab of toothpaste. Then make circular motions on the outer surface of the teeth, insisting on the junction between the gum and the tooth.
How often should I wash my dog’s teeth?
Brush your dog’s teeth at least 2-3 times a week, although the best thing is to wash them every day. This regularity allows to evacuate the dental plaque and to avoid the periodontal disease.
These sessions must be very short. In fact, gradually increase the duration, until you reach 2 minutes.
If the tartar is well anchored, brushing your dog’s teeth will be useless until your pet has descaled.
This act is a painless procedure performed by your veterinarian, where the animal is placed under general anesthesia.
It is performed using ultrasound devices, comparable to those used by our dentists. Sometimes tooth extraction is necessary.
Some breeds of dogs are more prone to develop tartar compared to others. Other factors predisposing to scale formation are age,food (especially if it is wet and the lack of maintenance; brushing,food supplements,etc.)