HOW TO CLEAN YOUR DOG’S TEETH

Updated on January 8, 2023

Your dog’s primary teeth will have fallen out by the time he or she is 7 months old, and a brand-new set of shiny, adult teeth will be ready to take their place. Since your dog’s adult teeth never fall out, it’s crucial that they always look their best.

It’s easy to neglect our dog’s teeth and gums, but our pet’s dental health is equally as vital as our own. After all, adult teeth are permanent for both species. We all know that twice-daily human tooth brushing is necessary to keep bacteria at bay, so why don’t we follow this similar practice with our canine companions?

Keep reading to learn more about the need of regular dental care for your dog and the best way to clean your pet’s teeth.

WHY IS MY DOG’S DENTAL HYGIENE IMPORTANT?

Doggy breath is something all dog owners have experienced, and it’s bad enough to make you want to scrub your own teeth. However, not only is bad dental hygiene a hassle for you, but it can be a terrifying experience for your dog as well.

In fact, dogs’ mouths are used for a wide variety of tasks beyond just eating. Our dogs don’t have hands like ours, so they use their mouths to play, investigate their surroundings, and carry things. Maintaining good oral hygiene for your dog is crucial because neglecting it can lead to serious health issues that will make even the most basic activities difficult for him.

Dog tooth cleaning

Taking care of your pet’s dental health
Plaque builds up on your dog’s teeth if you don’t clean them regularly, and that can lead to all sorts of issues. The sugars and bacteria from your dog’s food will stick to their teeth and form a film called plaque that coats the tooth. Plaque builds up and hardens into tartar if you don’t remove it regularly. It’s a great environment for the bacteria to continue growing and spreading in.

Gingivitis, inflammation of the gums, will develop as a result and cause problems for your dog. Gingivitis is simply a milder form of gum disease. Intense suffering, hyper-vigilance, and distress result from this. Gingivitis can be treated and even reversed if identified and treated early enough, but if left untreated, it will worsen over time. Your dog will develop periodontal disease, often known as gum disease, in the long run.

Dental and gum disease symptoms include:

Gum disease characterized by bleeding and inflammation
Bad breath due to an infected mouth Excruciating tooth pain from an exposed tooth root
teeth discoloration
Inadequate tooth structure
Loss of teeth due to decay or injury
gum recession
Abscessed teeth
In the past, they used to gnaw on toys, but now they avoid doing so.
Don’t worry; we’ve got plenty of advice to help you keep your dog’s teeth sparkly clean and free of the bacteria that like to hide in the crevices.

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO BRUSHING YOUR DOG’S TEETH

The best approach to keep your dog’s teeth healthy is to clean them regularly, but it takes a lot more time and effort to train your dog to accept having his or her teeth brushed than it does to teach him or her to sit and offer you a paw.

It will likely take a lot of practice before you can make most dogs comfortable with you touching their face and lips while you brush their teeth. But if you start early on with a very small puppy, you’ll have no trouble mastering the proper way to brush his teeth.

GATHER YOUR EQUIPMENT

So, obviously, the first thing you need is a doggy toothbrush and some dog-friendly toothpaste. Finding the right tool to clean your dog’s teeth may take some trial and error right now. We don’t expect kids to develop a passion for brushing their teeth, but we do hope they can learn to endure it.

There are electric toothbrushes, manual ones, ones that wrap around the fingers, ones with different sized bristles, and so on. Not even humans have so much freedom of action! All of these dog-safe toothbrushes are tailored to the specifics of your dog’s teeth, reaching deep into the fissures to remove any plaque or tartar that may have lodged there.

The next step is to select your toothpaste, where you can try out a variety of flavors. Dogs should enjoy the toothpaste you use on them so that brushing their teeth becomes a pleasant experience for them, just like getting a reward. Give your dog a few different choices to choose from and discover what he or she enjoys the most. Peanut butter, chicken, steak, liver, and many more enticing flavors are available in doggy toothpaste. The canines can do the taste testing while we watch…

The most important takeaway is that you should never, ever feed your dog toothpaste meant for humans. Both xylitol and fluoride, found in our toothpaste, are toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs.

TASTE TEST

Assuming you get your equipment together, it’s time to see how your dog reacts to it. A small amount of doggie toothpaste on top of your dog’s meal will allow them to try it out. The vast majority of dogs won’t blink an eye at this change, and will instead focus on devouring their supper. A few picky pooches, meanwhile, might initially balk at the idea.

After two days of this, put some toothpaste on your finger and let the dog lick it off. To help them adjust, pick a toothpaste that has a pleasant flavor.

PRACTICE RUN

The following stage is to accustom your dog to your hands being near its lips and face. Many canines strongly object to having their faces or mouths handled. Start by touching your dog’s face softly; if he or she doesn’t like it at first, you can always reward him or her with a goodie whenever he or she lets you pet their face.

Methods for canine dental care

Methods for canine dental care
If they seem comfortable with you touching their face, you can try lifting their lip and running your finger down their teeth. To put it simply, you should act as if you were brushing their teeth with a real brush and toothpaste, but without using either. Give your dog a break if it appears to be in distress.

After a few days of practice, they should be getting used to it and you can begin the actual brushing process.

THE REAL DEAL

Now we can get down to the business of brushing. Raise your dog’s lip ever-so-slightly to make place for the toothbrush. Since the canines (the back teeth) are the most accessible and least sensitive, they should be the first to be attacked (incisors). There will be two upper and two lower fangs on your dog. We’ve got a whole post dedicated to the topic of canine tooth structure if you’re curious about your dog’s chompers.

Pay special attention to the gumline when brushing your dog’s teeth; you may see some initial bleeding but this is normal. Inflamed gums may bleed a little at first, but with regular brushing and flossing, they will heal in a few weeks.

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

It’s possible that you’ll only be able to brush your dog’s fangs for the time being until he or she gets used to having their teeth brushed. But once you’ve mastered brushing the canines, it’s time to move on to the back molars. Make use of a circular motion for this. When it comes to oral hygiene, it’s especially important to pay close attention to the teeth and gums on the cheek side of the mouth, where many cases of gum disease initially appear.

Next, you’ll want to brush their incisors, which can be a bit more challenging. Don’t be shocked if your dog tries to get away from you if you touch its incisors. If you can keep their mouth closed by grasping their snout, you can lift their upper lip to see their baby teeth.

KEEPING IT UP

Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Don’t give up if your dog is still resisting being brushed; with time and practice, he or she will come to enjoy it.

Even though it may seem excessive, you should brush your dog’s teeth at least twice a week. But consider this: our dog’s teeth are quite identical to our own, yet we clean ours twice a day. We should treat our dog’s teeth with the same respect we do our own. Since teeth last a lifetime, it seems foolish to neglect their care.

Dog tooth brushing

Dog tooth brushing
Getting into this pattern when they’re little will make everything so much simpler later on. Regular brushing is necessary to remove the plaque that has built up over the course of weeks if it is only done occasionally.

WHEN TO CONTACT THE VET

If plaque and tartar are allowed to build up for too long, your dog’s teeth will become yellow and develop a brown deposit around the gums, at which point you will need to seek veterinary assistance. Getting your dog’s oral health back in shape at this point will require more than simply brushing on your part; you’ll need professional cleaning as well.

MAINTAINING YOUR DOG’S DENTAL CARE

ANNUAL VET CHECK-UPS

You should take charge of your dog’s health and make sure they get regular dental checkups and exercise. If you want to make sure that your dog’s oral health and hygiene are in top shape, it’s a good idea to schedule annual vet checkups to make sure that everything is in order.

THINGS THE VET WILL BE LOOKING OUT FOR

If you’ve spotted some blood on your dog’s chew toy, or if you’ve noticed that their breath smells worse than usual, it may be time to see a vet. In any case, your vet will be on the lookout for a number of potential causes, such as:

Your dog still has their baby teeth, or deciduous teeth, intact. Sometimes they stay in place even after the adult teeth have emerged, which can lead to problems with the development of the permanent set.
Abscesses, infections, and severe pain can develop when bacteria become trapped in a tooth that has been broken.
Teeth discoloration could be the result of trauma to the tooth, or it could be the result of years of plaque and tartar buildup.
Gum bleed
Teeth that overlap or are rotated put dogs at risk for oral problems; this is especially true in flat-faced and toy breeds like Frenchies and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, which typically suffer from poorly aligned jaws that lead to this overlap. The overcrowding of their teeth creates an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive.
A Guide to Dog Tooth Brushing
The proper method for giving your dog a tooth brushing
Keep an eye out for any signs of trouble in the mouths of dogs of the aforementioned breeds, which are predisposed to dental issues because to the misalignment of their teeth and jaws. When something goes wrong, it’s best to notice it as soon as possible so that it may be fixed.

GOOD DIET

It’s a common misconception that feeding your dog dry, crunchy food would aid in keeping their teeth clean. However, we know that is not the case. We wouldn’t go about our days munching on crunchy food and then not bothering to brush our teeth, because that just doesn’t make any sense. Why would we expect any different for our canine companions when we know full well that it just doesn’t work that way?

Food particles from kibble diets, which are notoriously high in sugar and other unsavory components, can adhere to the teeth and serve as a bacterial breeding ground if not removed at night before bed. When it comes to maintaining your dog’s oral health, a natural diet that is free of added sugar, additives, and all the other questionable components that are found in many commercial dry dog diets is far healthier. An all-natural diet will starve the germs because it has no sugar.

When you follow the Pure diet, you won’t have to worry about adding any unnecessary sugars because all of the ingredients are natural and ones you’re already familiar with. All of the components of a Pure diet work together to maintain your dog’s optimal health. Linseed, a common ingredient, is rich in calcium, magnesium, and zinc, all of which contribute to a healthy mouth and a glossy coat. One of the many benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids used in Pure recipes is the reduction of gum inflammation.

In spite of the best efforts of dog owners everywhere, no diet can ever fully replace the necessity of regular tooth brushing. However, if they switch to a more natural diet, they won’t have to work as hard to keep their teeth clean because fewer sugars will stick to their teeth.

Dogs can benefit from dental chews in the same way that humans can, but these treats should never take the place of your regular tooth brushing sessions.

RECAP

Regular tooth brushing for your dog will do wonders for their oral health, helping to prevent painful issues like gum disease. It will help your dog out, save you money on vet expenses, and keep you from having to deal with your dog’s bad breath.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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