How Do You Brush Your Dog’s Teeth? By Your Carmel Vet Clinic

How Should I Brush My Dog’s Teeth?  Your Carmel Vet Clinic Explains

Why is brushing your dog’s teeth important?  No one wants their beloved dog to have bad breath, but dental disease remains the most common disease I see at our Carmel vet clinic.  After chewing their food, bacteria begin to form on the surface of your dog’s teeth just like with us.  The bacteria in the mouth adhere to the tooth leading to plaque, tartar, and hardened calculus buildup.  The constant inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis, progresses to gum recession and eventually a rotten infected tooth that often has to be extracted.  Periodontal disease is simply an infection of the tissues around the teeth.  Severe dental disease is worse than just bad breath and loss of teeth, its been linked to problems in the heart, liver, kidneys from the bacteria in the mouth entering the bloodstream.

How often should I brush my dog’s teeth?  Like most problems in life, it’s always better to prevent disease rather than wait for a problem to develop.  So it’s recommended to brush your dog’s teeth every night after dinner just like with your teeth.  Once a day is ideal, but do it as often as you can.

What do I need to brush my dog’s teeth?  Our Carmel vet clinic has a complete toothbrush kit that includes everything you need.  First of all, do NOT use human toothpaste.  This contains fluoride which should not be ingested.  Dog tooth paste is usually chicken flavored, making it easier to get your dog to enjoy tooth brushing.  The kit comes with 3 different brush sizes to accomodate the size of your dog’s mouth.

How do I brush my dog’s teeth?  The first step is to get you and your dog comfortable.  So don’t even try to brush the teeth at first.  Just load up the toothbrush with the doggy toothpaste, and let him/her lick it as a treat.  After a few times, start brushing a few circles on the outside of the front teeth.  Gradually work back to most important cheek teeth by lifting the upper lip and brushing soft circles on the outside of the teeth.  Don’t worry about cleaning the inside of the teeth unless your dog seems to enjoy it; the majority of dog’s dental disease I see at our Carmel vet clinic occurs on the upper side premolars.

It’s important to remember to go slow and get your dog to enjoy toothbrush treat time.  Start brushing your dog’s teeth when they are young so they get used to it, because if your dog doesn’t like it, you won’t do it.  For more information on our Caring Hands Compassionate Hearts, click on the link to your Carmel Vet Clinic



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