5 steps to preventing dental disease in your pet
- Cleaning- The simplest and most effective way to help keep your pet’s teeth clean is to brush them. You can introduce tooth brushing at any stage, but it will take time for your pet to get used to it. For hints and tips on how to get started, have a look at our website. The nurses in our practice also run free dental care workshops where you can come and learn the best techniques for dental hygiene.
- Diet- Ordinary dry food diets will help to reduce plaque build up but they will not completely prevent it. There are also prescription ‘dental diets’ available, which have been formulated to actively prevent accumulation of plaque. Your vet may recommend these if you find it difficult to brush your pet’s teeth. We DON'T recommend allowing your dog to eat from the table!
- Supplements- Chlorhexidine mouth wash may be recommended after dental treatment, or when a dental procedure can’t be done due to general health issues. The mouth wash will help to reduce the growth of oral bacteria but will not cure dental disease on its own.
- Regular veterinary dental health checks- Checking your pet’s teeth forms part of the examination that a nurse or vet will perform at routine health checks. These are usually carried out once or twice a year. Your vet may also recommend more regular check ups for your pet if they have had previous or ongoing dental issues.
- Preventative dental treatment- Once calculus has built up significantly on your pets teeth, no amount of brushing or dental chews will get rid of it. This needs to be done by a vet or nurse. We use special dental tools to first scale and then polish the teeth. Scaling removes calculus from the surface of the tooth as well as under the gum line. Polishing the teeth helps to restore their natural appearance, and removes residual debris from the teeth. These procedures are carried out under an anaesthetic, which means that your pet will be comfortable and unaware that any treatment is being undertaken.