Most of us associate a visit to the dentist with being told that you’re just not brushing enough, even if you think you are. Can you imagine a trip to the invisalign in San Francisco if you never brushed your teeth in between visits? That’s the state of many pets’ oral health. Your pets can’t do much to care for their own teeth, but with a little help from you, they can live healthier. There are three great ways you can help your pet maintain good dental health.
The first method is chews. Chews are easy because they require a minimum amount of effort on your part. All you have to do is give your pet a tasty treat. Pets love them, and they’re inexpensive. Chews work by using the mechanical action of chewing to physically strip plaque off of the teeth. This can be augmented through the use of an antiseptic called Chlorhexidine. Chlorhexidine inhibits the growth of bacteria, so even if some tiny bits stay in your dog’s mouth, it will help eliminate bacteria and prevent plaque. All of the C.E.T. HEXtra chews we offer at our hospital have Chlorhexidine in them, and are available for both dogs and cats. They are easier to digest than rawhide chews. Just one a day will help clean up your pet’s dirty mouth. No matter what!
The second method to improving your pet’s oral health is with rinses. C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Rinse is available at our clinic, and is a great product for keeping mouths clean. As often as once a day to once a week, just squirt the rinse in your pet’s mouth, between the cheek and gum. The rinse contains a chlorhexidine additive that is fortified with zinc, which has been positively linked to oral hygiene. This will eliminate the bacteria in your pet’s mouth and boost their defenses against new bacteria forming.
The last and best method is good old fashioned brushing. We have many different types of brushes and toothpastes, to ensure you find what works best for your pet. These specially designed toothpastes are safe to swallow, and come in flavors your pet will like, such as beef and seafood. It can take a little time for your pet to get used to the idea of you brushing their teeth, but it is by far the best way to keep their mouths healthy.
We also carry some supplemental dental health products. One of these is AquaDent water additive. All you need to do is add it to you pet’s drinking water everyday and it helps reduce plaque and sweeten breath. Also available is OraVet plaque prevention gel. OraVet is a sealant that you apply to your pet’s teeth once a week. This protects the teeth from new bacterial buildup.
Keep in mind that all of these products are designed to prevent dental disease, not treat it. If your pet is already experiencing periodontal disease, they will likely need a dental cleaning to get them back on the right track. If you would like to discuss the condition of your pet’s teeth, we would be glad to set up a complimentary dental exam and estimate for cleaning. September and February are our dental special months, and all dental cleanings are discounted. Check with your veterinarian to find out which of these products or services would be best for your pet.