How Often Should I Get My Dog’s Teeth Cleaned?

February 18, 2019

Your dog's dental health is as important as your own and one of the best ways for you to preserve it is to ensure that his teeth are as clean as possible.

Cavities are fairly rare in dogs owing to their reasonably low-sugar diet. However, periodontal disease, which is the same for dogs as it is for humans, is extremely common, affecting as many as 1 in 3 canines before they turn three. If your dog develops periodontal disease, he could suffer from dental pain, bad breath, and tooth loss. The infection can also spread from the gums into the bloodstream where it is transported around her body, eventually affecting her major organs and body systems. Dogs with severe dental problems are more likely to suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and kidney/liver problems.

How Often Should I Get My Dog's Teeth Cleaned?

Most pet dentists in Birmingham, AL recommend an annual professional dental clean and state that this is sufficient for the majority of dog breeds. However, every canine is unique, and a great pet dentist will ensure that your pet's care is tailored to his specific needs. This could be based on his age, his breed, or his current dental health. Therefore, we strongly advise you to listen and adhere to the recommendations made for your dog.

While you may only need to bring your dog for a professional clean once per year, you should ensure that you are looking after his teeth at home on a regular, if not daily, basis. While you won't be able to do such a thorough job as your vet, brushing your dog's teeth is an invaluable activity that will help to keep them healthy, last longer, and prevent him from suffering from a serious dental problem called periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease can affect humans and dogs and is particularly common amongst canines. Research shows that 1 in 3 dogs will be showing some signs of periodontal disease by their 3rd birthday. This inflammatory condition doesn't only cause swollen, sore, and bleeding gums, but left untreated can lead to bad breath, infection, tooth loss, and jaw bone deterioration. The infection can also pass into the bloodstream where it can reach other major organs and cause severe health problems including diabetes and kidney disease.

Brushing Your Dog's Teeth at Home

It may sound like it is something that would be an impossible task, but many owners soon discover that with a little patience and practice, cleaning their dog's teeth is fairly simple and can be slotted into their daily routine with ease.

To brush his teeth, you should choose a pet toothbrush or a human variety with soft bristles. Small-headed versions are better since they can be easily moved around inside his mouth. Always use canine toothpaste as human types can contain ingredients that are toxic to animals. Start by brushing the outer faces of his teeth gently in a circular motion. He may only let you do one or two teeth to begin with, but once he gets used to the sensation, you should be able to gradually increase the brushing until you can clean all of his teeth.

If your dog is overdue for a professional dental clean and you would like to make an appointment for him to be seen by our experienced pet dentistry team, please do not hesitate to contact our vets in Birmingham, AL at (205) 322-8566 today.