If you are learning about the importance of caring for your pet’s teeth for the first time, you will probably have more than a few questions. Often one of the first things new pet parents ask about is what are the best ways to help keep their pet’s teeth clean.
Our veterinary dentist is the best professional to help look after the health of your pet’s teeth, but you won’t be able to see our vet every day. This means that it is down to you as your pet’s primary caregiver to make sure that you do everything you can to keep your pet’s teeth healthy day to day. One of the biggest ways that you can do this is by brushing her teeth.
Why is Brushing Important?
The reason that brushing is so important is because it is the only way that you can truly eliminate bacteria that attaches itself to your pet’s teeth when they eat. Although saliva and drinking can wash some of the bacteria away, brushing is needed to truly get your animal’s teeth clean.
When you brush your pet’s teeth, choose a small-headed toothbrush as this will give you greater manoeuvrability and allow you to get into all the hard-to-reach parts of your pet’s mouth. If you can’t get a pet-approved variety, a child’s one will work just as well. Just make sure that you choose one with soft bristles so that don’t damage your pet’s teeth or gums. Always start with the teeth in the upper jaws. This is because any debris or bacteria that falls off of the upper teeth will land on the lower teeth. If you clean the lower teeth first, you will have to re-do them!
When it comes to brushing your pet’s teeth, you should only use a pet-approved toothpaste designed for your species and breed of animal. The main reason for this is that pets don’t spit out their toothpaste, they swallow it. Human toothpastes contain fluoride, and many contain high levels of xylitol and sodium. All of these substances are very toxic to pets, and even small amounts swallowed by your furbaby can prove fatal.
How Often Should I Brush My Pet’s Teeth?
Another common question asked by owners is just how often they should brush their pet’s teeth. The honest answer is the more frequently you can brush your pet’s teeth, the better for their dental health it will be. Daily brushing for 2 minutes is considered optimal.
Unfortunately, some pets tolerate the brushing process better than others, and this means that while some owners find it easy to incorporate two minutes of brushing into their daily routine, others may struggle to get their pet to cooperate. Whether you brush less often than daily, or for less time than the recommended two minutes, the more you can do the greater you will reduce the risk of your pet developing dental diseases.
For further advice on brushing your pet’s teeth, call us and schedule an appointment with our veterinary offices.