Dental Care for Dogs
Excellent dental health is essential for ensuring a happy and healthy dog or cat. Dental disease is the most common disease that we see in our pets and affects cats and dogs of any age. It is vital to start dental care early, to set up success for oral health long term, but starting dental care at any point in your pet’s life is still going to be extremely beneficial.
What types of dental care do you offer?
For a full treatment of the mouth, we offer complete oral health assessment and procedures (or “dentistries”). These are performed under a full anesthetic, supervised by a registered veterinary technician, to ensure the best treatment for the mouth (in pets, a high-quality dental exam and cleaning cannot be performed when our patients are awake). All dental patients receive IV fluids, full anesthetic monitoring, and appropriate pain management. The teeth are scaled to remove all existing tartar and are polished to a smooth finish. If needed, radiographs (x-rays) of the teeth are performed, to assess for root changes, bone loss or evidence of disease. The veterinarian performs dental charting to evaluate each tooth. If needed, extractions are performed by the veterinarian, to remove diseased, painful, mobile or broken teeth.
Home dental care for dogs
The ideal goal is brushing once daily! This will have the best benefit for the gums (minimizing gingivitis) and consistently decreases tartar buildup. Brushing a few times a week is still going to be beneficial, though, so aim to brush as often as possible.
Dental toothpaste and brushes: Our pets cannot use human toothpaste, as it is not meant to be swallowed. There are specific dog and cat kinds of toothpaste that are formulated to be safe if ingested, and they often have flavours that our pets will enjoy.
Dental food (Hill’s T/D, Royal Canin Dental): This food is formulated in a woven kibble shape, which has a mechanical action of cleaning the teeth during chewing. It also has an enzyme coating similar to the enzymes in toothpaste, to help decrease plaque formation. The food also can help freshen breath!
Water additives: Used to help minimize plaque formation, and can help freshen breath.
Dental chews (Enzadent): Coated with enzymes to help decrease plaque formation, and to help freshen breath as well.
Why is oral health important?
Dental disease can cause pain and infection. This can lead to trouble eating, secondary abscesses, secondary sinus infections or an overall decrease in energy and spunk. Our pets are also extremely good at hiding dental pain, so some pets won’t show any visible signs that their teeth hurt. After dental work, our patients can be happier, brighter and eat better – an indication of how much their mouths improve following dental surgery.