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Lifestyle animal care, Bay of Islands Vets, Kaikohe, Kerikeri, Kawakawa, Paihia and Waipapa

Lifestyle

Dental Care (Tooth Brushing)


Ten Top Tips For Brushing Your Pet's Teeth

1. Start toothbrushing as early in life as you can. It is easier to teach young animals to have their teeth brushed, and prevention is better than cure. If you suspect your pet already has any dental or gum disease, get your vet to check the mouth first to make sure that you won’t be causing any pain to your pet when you start brushing.

2. Make sure your pet is relaxed and comfortable – sitting in your lap, or being cuddled by another person.

3. Make the initial sessions brief and positive. Don’t push the matter if your pet is getting upset. It often takes several weeks for your pet to allow you to use a toothbrush and toothpaste on them without protest.

4. Start by using your fingertips to rub along the outside of the teeth and gums. You can use a small amount of a tasty pet toothpaste to make it more acceptable.

5. Approach from the side and start with just a few teeth, gradually increasing the number of teeth as your pet gets used to it. Don’t open the mouth just slip your finger inside the lips. Only the outside of the teeth need to brushed as the tongue keeps the inside clean.

6. Move up to using a facecloth, a piece of gauze or a small finger brush, and finally onto a very soft bristle brush. Ask our staff about our soft finger brushes. Pet or children’s toothbrushes are ideal. Angle the bristles at about 45° towards the gums to reach plaque hiding under the gumline.

7. Choose a toothpaste designed for pets. Aside from the more appealing flavour, pet toothpaste is much safer for regular use. Human toothpaste, which contains fluoride and detergents, is not designed to be swallowed, and pets are not good at the ‘rinse and spit’ method.

8. When introducing toothpaste, put a small amount on your finger and let your pet taste it. Then press the paste down into the bristles of the toothbrush so your pet can’t just lick it off while you brush.

9. Offer a reward at the end of the procedure, such as a walk or a game.

10. Have your pet’s teeth examined regularly by your vet. Toothbrushing slows down dental disease, but does not prevent it completely. Humans usually brush twice a day yet still need to have their teeth cleaned professionally on a regular basis, and so do our pets.

 

Bay of Islands Veterinary Services - Brushing dog teethBay of Islands Veterinary Services - Brushing animal teeth


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