Orange and white cat yawns while curled up on the white sheets of a bed

Do I Need to Brush My Pet’s Teeth?

Imagine going on about your life without ever brushing your teeth. Sounds pretty gross, right? That’s exactly what your pet feels like when you don’t brush their teeth. While it may seem like chew toys and dental treats are enough to keep your pet’s oral health in top shape, that’s actually not the case.

Common Oral Health Diseases in Pets

Pets surprisingly develop the same oral health issues that we do. Given their starch-heavy diets, pets are more likely to develop cavities and decay than we’d think.

Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

Ideally, you should be brushing your pet’s teeth once a day. But if you don’t have time to do so, a few times a week is better than nothing!

  • Human toothpaste is toxic for your pet, but there are plenty of safe toothpastes for dogs and cats available, as well as toothbrushes specially made for your pet’s mouth.
  • You don’t have to start brushing your pet’s teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste right away. Start by massaging their gums with wet gauze, and rewarding them for letting you touch their mouths. This will help you build trust with your pet, and make the teeth brushing process easier over time.
  • Once your pet seems okay with letting you touch their teeth and gums, use small amounts of toothpaste and rub your pet’s teeth with your finger to get them used to the flavor. If your pet isn’t a fan of mint, there are meat-flavored toothpastes that your pet will surely enjoy!
  • Finally, when your pet is used to toothpaste, you can introduce the toothbrush. Brush your pet’s teeth using small circles as you would when brushing your own.

Keeping Your Pet’s Teeth Healthy

Diet also plays a major role in your pet’s oral health. A raw or grain-free diet without any preservatives or processed ingredients will keep your pet’s teeth healthier longer since they won’t experience tartar buildup as quickly. Make sure to ask your vet to check your pet’s teeth during their checkups as well.

Keeping Your Own Teeth Healthy

Maintaining your own oral health is also of utmost importance. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once a day, brush your tongue every day, and don’t forget to schedule twice yearly cleanings and examinations so that Dr. Walkington can keep careful track of your oral health. We’re excited to see you and your family at Wildflower Family Dentistry. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

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