Oral hygiene is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. Poor oral hygiene can lead to serious life-threatening conditions including kidney, liver, and heart damage. Our Clarksville vets share 9 tips to help keep your dog's teeth clean.

9 Tips on How to Keep Your Dog's Teeth Clean

Here are the most effective ways to keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy.

Brush Your Dogs Teeth

You should keep brushing your dog's teeth as part of a regular grooming routine. Ask your vet before you start cleaning your dog's teeth because it's always best to ask them to show you the best way to do this. Different breeds show varying jaw alignments and how the teeth meet. Brachycephalic dogs, like Pugs and Chihuahuas, have poorly aligned jaws, with crowded or absent teeth, and are therefore more likely to suffer from dental disease.

Your dog may dislike tooth brushing at first, but you can hopefully make it a pleasant experience for them. Choose a time when your dog has had enough exercise and is more likely to sit still. Don't go too far the first few times. Begin slowly and stop if your dog becomes agitated, even if you don't brush his entire mouth. You can gradually increase the time as they get used to it. Make sure to speak soothingly to your dog while brushing, and then reward him with a treat.

It's Ideal To Start When They are Young

Begin teeth cleaning when they are puppies and brush their teeth every day to get them used to it. If you haven't done it before, start by placing your finger near their mouth. Continue doing so, and then gradually introduce brushing until it feels natural.

Grown dogs can learn to become comfortable with dog teeth cleaning, but make things easier for yourself by working with your dog as a puppy.

Pick a Delicious Toothpaste

Dog toothpaste comes in many appealing flavors like peanut butter, beef, and chicken. Try different combinations of toothpaste and toothbrushes to see what suits you and your pup best.

Dental Chews

There are many synthetic bones and chew toys that are specially designed to strengthen your dog’s gums and teeth. Just make sure you’re providing safe objects for your dog to chew on. Hard objects and weight-bearing bones can cause broken teeth.

Giving your dog a good, non-weight-bearing bone to chew on, such as duck wings or chicken feet, can help remove buildup and keep teeth strong, but imagine yourself as a human who only chews gum and uses mouth rinse. That's not a good way to maintain good dental hygiene and overall health. Your dog is no exception.

Routine dental checkups

Despite your best efforts, you probably won't be able to thoroughly clean your dog with a toothbrush the way a veterinarian can. It's a good idea to have your pet's teeth routinely cleaned by your veterinarian, who will remove plaque and tartar, clean the gum line, and polish the teeth, even if your pet's teeth are in good condition. You should take your dog in for a regular cleaning every six months to a year, depending on their size. Ask for a simple dental exam if your veterinarian doesn't provide one as part of a routine checkup.

If you have pet insurance, some providers offer preventive care coverage that you can add to your coverage that can help cover some of the costs of routine teeth cleanings. You may be more likely to keep up with routine visits, too, if you are already paying for some of it in your pet insurance policy.

Dental Diets

For dogs that are opposed to the other options or are very prone to periodontal disease, a few dog food companies make prescription dental food that have been clinically proven to help reduce dental disease.

Tartar buildup is decreased as a result of the kibble your dog chews cleaning the surface of their teeth. Additionally, the kibble has components that aid in eradicating the bacteria that cause plaque and tartar formation.

Visit our online shop and pet pharmacy and browse our range of dental diets, or contact our Clarksville vets to discuss whether changing your dog's diet is the right option for their oral health care needs.

Water Additives

Dogs can drink a variety of water additives, and they all function fairly similarly. There is no flavor to these oral medications. The amount of the water additive that you add to your dog's water bowl each day will depend on the instructions on the bottle. The remedy eliminates plaque-forming bacteria in your dog's mouth and aids in freshening his breath.

Food Additives

To your dog's food, you can quickly and easily add flavored dental powder. Usually, probiotics are present in them, which work to both kill bacteria that cause plaque and to help promote healthy bacteria in your dog's mouth.

The powder should be applied to every meal your dog eats. It helps freshen your dog’s breath and prevents tartar and plaque from building up on your dog’s teeth. 

Check Their Gums and Teeth Regularly

As a dog owner, it is important for you to pay attention to your dog's health. If you notice something that seems abnormal, or if you notice their behavior changing, it's time to call your vet. 

Tooth pain can make even the most placid dogs irritable and unhappy, so keep an eye on them. It is also necessary to lift their gums and check all of their teeth on a regular basis. If you notice plaque forming, contact your veterinarian or try the solutions outlined above.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog due for their routine dental checkup? Contact our Clarksville vets today so we can ensure their teeth are as healthy as possible.