Canine dental care is one of the most forgotten aspects of good health. So many dogs develop halitosis, gingivitis or periodontitis because of poor dental practices. It's important for you to practice at-home dental care on your dog, as well as have your vet perform professional cleanings.
At-Home Dental Care
You should brush your dog's teeth every other day to reduce plaque buildup. You want to use toothpaste for dogs and a good toothbrush or finger-brush. Regular toothbrushes reach about 90 percent of the surface of your dog's teeth, typically missing the back molars. Offer a good rope for your dog to chew on to help clean the back teeth.
Have your vet check your dog's teeth when you take him in for vaccinations to check for tartar buildup, cracks and fractures. Once your dog is 2 or 3 years old, have your dog's teeth cleaned by your vet on an annual basis. During the cleaning, your vet will anesthetize your dog, scrape the plaque buildup from above and below the gums and polish the teeth; any fractured or loose teeth may be pulled during this time.
- The Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook 3rd Edition; James M., et al
- Pet Education: A Completed Dental Care Program