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Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

Why do I need to brush my dog’s teeth?

About 2/3 of dogs over the age of three are known to have periodontal disease, an inflammation or infection of the tissues covering the teeth. Periodontal disease begins as plaque-caused gingivitis and sometimes progresses into affecting the sockets of the bony tooth. A periodontal disease which is left untreated can lead to a painful loss of the tooth.

dog teeth

When time should I brush my dog’s teeth?

In my opinion, brushing your dog’s teeth at least twice a day is best. For several dogs, they will start to anticipate and enjoy brushing until it becomes part of their everyday routine. The minimum prescription to help dissolve plaque and avoid tartar accumulation is to brush three times a week.

“To encourage your dog to embrace toothbrushing when he’s still a puppy is best.”
Teaching your dog to embrace toothbrushing is best when he’s only a puppy. When you have an older dog, it will take a little longer to train but the effort is always worth it.

What steps do I need to take to teach my dog how to embrace tooth brushing?

To be effective in brushing the teeth of your dog you have to make it a fun experience for both of you. Keep the experience enjoyable during the whole process by praising your dog, with reassurance at every move. Follow those steps for best results:
Pick a peaceful time and place to get started.

If your dog is small enough, keep your dog safely in your lap, his head facing you away. If your dog is bigger you can sit on a chair with your dog sitting next to you so you can accommodate his mouth and teeth comfortably.

Start by rubbing your finger or a soft tissue over your dog’s teeth’s outer surfaces, using a back-and-forth motion – concentrating on the region where the gum meets the tooth surface. Be sure to remain on the teeth’s outer surfaces to prevent accidental biting. For the first few lessons, rubbing the cloth along only a few teeth instead of the entire mouth is a good idea, particularly if your pet is unsure or nervous about the procedure.

When your dog is at ease with rubbing his teeth, let him try some pet toothpaste from your tongue. Do not use human toothpaste-to be swallowed is not made.

When the taste of pet toothpaste has been embraced by your dog, put a small amount on the cloth and brush it on the teeth.
It’s time to start using a toothbrush (see below) once your dog is absolutely used to cleaning his teeth with a rag.

What sort of denture should I use?

Commercial toothbrushes are available which are made specifically for dog use. Including:
brushes with angled handles,
Brushes with several heads (so that the bottom, the outside, and the top surfaces of the tooth are brushed at the same time), Tiny brushes fit comfortably in your palm, and Finger toothbrushes (made to fit over your fingertips).
For certain dogs, a very soft toothbrush intended for use in human babies is appropriate.
The type of toothbrush you use depends a bit on your dog’s size, and a bit on your own dexterity. Many pet owners find it easier to use a finger brush, particularly when their dog’s teeth just start to brush. If you are unsure of which brush to use, consult with your veterinarian.
Regardless of the type of toothbrush you are using, it is important to be careful and to go slowly as it is easy to poke the tip of the toothbrush unintentionally against the gums and cause some discomfort.

Is human toothpaste fit to use?

No. No. Human toothpaste contains ingredients not to be swallowed in. If swallowed it may cause stomach pain or digestive disorders. Some human toothpaste contains high sodium levels that may also cause your pet to become ill while others can contain xylitol that is toxic to dogs.

My friend had suggested I use baking soda. Is that OK?

No. No. Baking soda has a high alkaline content, which can disturb the acid balance in the stomach and digestive tract if swallowed. Moreover, when you try to clean his teeth, baking soda doesn’t taste good and can cause your dog to be uncooperative.

Why does it prescribe toothpaste for pets?

Pet toothpaste is available in various flavors appetizing to dogs including pork, beef, malt, and mint. Your dog would be more likely to enjoy all the fun of using food that tastes amazing.

How exactly can I have my dog’s teeth brushed?

Using a small amount of toothpaste to add to the toothbrush. Lift your dog’s lips softly to one side of his mouth. You can do this either by pressing your freehand index finger on the lip (as seen in the picture) or by putting your free hand over the head of your dog with your thumb and index finger on opposite sides of your dog’s app. You’ll need to open your dog’s mouth a little bit to clean the lower teeth. This can be achieved by softly tilting the dog’s head sideways while placing the thumb and index finger of the freehand onto his or her upper jaw.

At first, focus on brushing big cheek teeth and canine teeth, the teeth where plaque and tartar grow quickest. Gradually work until all the teeth are brushed (this will possibly take some days or weeks).er jaw to raise his lips.

You’ll need to open your dog’s mouth a little bit to clean the lower teeth. This can be achieved by softly tilting the dog’s head sideways while placing the thumb and index finger of the freehand onto his or her upper jaw.

At first, focus on brushing big cheek teeth and canine teeth, the teeth where plaque and tartar grow quickest. Gradually work until all the teeth are brushed (this will possibly take some days or weeks).
If your dog is very patient, don’t worry about brushing the tips or inside the teeth. Most periodontal damage happens on the teeth’s outer surfaces and this is where you should focus your efforts. Moreover, the dog’s tongue helps to strip a lot of the residue from the teeth’s inner surfaces, thus eliminating the need to clean these surfaces.

How long should I spend brushing teeth with my dog?

Try brushing for about 30 seconds on each foot.

What else would I do to ensure dental hygiene for my dog?

Keeping dental health with your dog is vital. Plaque is an aggregation of bacteria and is a sticky material that starts to settle on the teeth within hours of a meal or after a skilled cleaning of the tooth. Within a day, plaque blends with minerals in the saliva to transform into tartar, also known as calculus. You will find a list of the dental products and diets approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council at vohc.org. These approved items have been shown to minimize plaque and/or tartar accumulation by at least 20 percent.

Is there anything else that I need to know? and I do ensure dental hygiene for my dog?

Yeah. A dog’s mouth contains lots of bacteria, wearing gloves whilst brushing your dog’s teeth if possible. If this limits your ability to brush his teeth effectively, then be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after you’re done. Also, thoroughly rinse the toothbrush before putting it away. Replace the toothbrush every three months and use a different toothbrush for each of these if you have several dogs.