48,255,413 households in the country have a dog who they consider part of the family. Unfortunately, not every owner brushes up on their canine’s dental health as often as their own.
You brush your teeth every day, don’t you? Brushing twice a day helps you avoid tooth decay, loss, and gum disease. The importance of dental cleanings for dogs is just as severe, too!
Here are seven reasons you need to consider dental care for dogs. By brushing up on your dog’s oral hygiene, you can make sure they remain man or woman’s best friend for a long time.
Keep reading to discover why it’s important to prioritize dog dental care.
1. Prevent Tooth Loss
Over time, the structures that support your dog’s teeth can become damaged or infected. Severe, prolonged damage can cause their teeth to loosen or even fall out.
By prioritizing dental care for dogs, you can make sure those teeth-supporting structures remain strong and healthy. Then, your dog’s teeth will stay in place, making it easier for them to chew and play.
Otherwise, your dog could have issues eating, which could lead to malnutrition or other health concerns. They’ll also have to live life in pain after losing their teeth!
It’s essential to focus on your dog’s oral hygiene, especially while they’re puppies. Taking the time to brush their teeth can become a part of their overall training. Make sure to start slowly to give your dog time to become comfortable with the situation.
Before brushing your dog’s teeth, make sure they’re in a good mood. An already aggravated pup might have a difficult time adjusting.
Next, put a little toothpaste on your finger. Let your dog lick it off. This gives them a chance to become accustomed to the taste of toothpaste.
Try gently touching the toothbrush to your dog’s teeth next. Then, brush for a few seconds. Make sure to brush gradually and gently.
It might take a few months before your dog grows accustomed to the habit. Once they’re comfortable, it’s time to expose them to thorough dental care for dogs.
Raise their lips to expose their teeth and gums. Then, start brushing from the gum line to the tip of each tooth.
Try to avoid opening your dog’s mouth, which could cause them to panic. You might also want to consider purchasing a toothpaste specifically meant for dogs. Toothpaste for humans often contains fluoride and detergents that we’re meant to spit out.
Your dog will swallow the toothpaste. It helps to get them a product meant for their preference and health. Pet toothpaste is available in a range of flavors like beef or poultry.
You can talk to your vet about scheduling a professional cleaning. Regular cleanings can help you prevent your dog from losing their teeth.
2. Prevent Bad Breath
Do you ever get a nasty whiff of your dog’s bad breath after a slobbery kiss? That’s a sign that bacteria are building up due to poor dental care for dogs.
Cleaning your dog’s teeth regularly can help prevent that odor from developing. Otherwise, the food particles that cling to their teeth and gums will form into plaque.
It’s the same biological process that happens with humans. Biological biofilm called plaque coats the teeth’s surface. After a few days, the film will calcify and turn cement-hard. While the first layer is microscopic, more layers will accumulate over time.
This will create a nasty, yellow-brown film over your dog’s teeth: plaque.
Plaque is a filmy substance that’s caused by a build-up of bacteria. Brushing regularly can help remove plaque before it hardens into tartar. Otherwise, your dog’s teeth will need professional cleaning to remove the tartar build-up.
3. Avoid Periodontal Disease
When tartar is left on your dog’s teeth, it can cause inflammation and gum infection. The gums may begin to recede from the teeth, leaving the teeth and gums more vulnerable. This can lead to gingivitis, which can cause your dog to lose their teeth.
In this study, the overall prevalence for dogs with gingivitis or periodontal disease was 86.3%.
Gingivitis is the first phase of gum disease. After some time, it can develop into a more dangerous periodontal disease.
Understanding the importance of dental health for dogs can help your pup avoid periodontal disease.
4. Prevent Pain
Gingivitis and periodontal disease can both cause pain. Imagine the last time you had a toothache. Would you want your dog to experience the same issues?
Dental disease can become painful for dogs and humans alike. By keeping your dog’s teeth and gums healthy, you can prevent oral pain.
Otherwise, they might not want to eat. They might also experience mood changes.
A few signs your dog has dental disease include:
- Broken teeth
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
- Painful or bleeding gums
- Refusal to eat or drink
Keep an eye out for these signs to prevent your dog’s pain from getting worse.
5. Prevent Organ Damage
The bacteria that causes plaque to form can enter the bloodstream. Once it travels through the body, that bacteria can spread to the heart, liver, and kidneys. This process is called bacteremia.
Bacteremia can cause organ damage and make your dog sick.
By focusing on dental care for dogs, you can keep your dog happy and healthy for a long time!
6. Dogs are Good at Hiding Dental Pain
You might not realize your dog has a serious dental problem until it becomes more advanced. In fact, many dogs are good at hiding their pain.
Taking your dog in for regular checkups will confirm they’re a healthy mouth dog. If there’s a problem, you can catch it early on.
7. Brushing Now Will Save Money in the Future
Catching those dental health issues early on will help you prevent big problems in the future.
For example, a vet might notice plaque is starting to build against your dog’s teeth. They can clean the plaque before it hardens into tartar, which can prevent bacteria from spreading.
As a result, you’re also preventing future organ damage, which can save you from an expensive procedure in the future.
In other words, working on your dog’s dental care now will benefit your wallet and peace of mind in the long-run.
Pearly Canine Whites: 7 Reasons to Brush Up on Dental Care for Dogs
Ready to keep your dog’s teeth pearly white? By learning about the importance of dental care for dogs, you can ensure their happier, healthier future. Now it’s time to brush up—on their teeth and yours!
Want to keep your dog healthy? Get in touch today to schedule an appointment.