The MyStetho blog

Tips for Better Dental Health in Dogs

10 Tips for Better Dental Health in Dogs
Keeping your dog healthy involves taking care of his oral hygiene. Taking care of your dog's teeth and feeding him a healthy diet can lower his risk of oral diseases later on. Untreated dental disease can cause tooth loss and other painful infections in your dog's body.
1. Breathing Test
Bad breath can be a common sign of oral disease in your dog. It is natural for your dog's breath to smell bad. But if your dog's breathing is overwhelming, it may be caused by periodontal disease or decaying teeth.
2. Lip Service
Checking your dog's gums and teeth every few weeks will help you know what's going on in his mouth. Their gums should be pink. If they are white, red or swollen, you can schedule a visit to the vet. Their teeth should be clean with no brown tartar buildup.
3. Signs of oral disease
Dental disease can cause a lot of pain in your dog. After years of tartar, plaque, and bacteria buildup, your dog could have an infection, inflammation, or decaying tooth. Dogs often don't show pain, so it can go unnoticed. If your pet is increasingly irritable and lethargic and won't eat, it may be a sign that he has an oral disease.
4. Weak tooth decay
Tooth decay can occur over time. It starts with plaque buildup and hardening into tartar. Tartar and untreated plaque buildup below the gumline can be difficult to remove and damage the tooth.
Untreated tooth decay and infection can lead to periodontal disease. This can be life threatening for your dog. Regular brushing and managing your dog's oral health can prevent tooth decay.
5. Brushing Canine Teeth
Brushing your dog's teeth may not be something you know you should be doing. But it can be a great way to prevent plaque buildup. Unlike humans, you don't need to brush your teeth daily. Your dog may not like having their teeth brushed at first, but making it a routine and getting them excited can help.
You will need to use a dog toothbrush or a fingertip toothbrush for brushing. You will also need dog-specific toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste, due to the chemical's toxicity to dogs. Your veterinarian can advise you on the right tools for brushing.
6. Brighten Pearly Whites
The most important part of brushing your dog's teeth is removing plaque from their gum line. The following tips will help you have the best brushing experience with your dog:
Create a calm atmosphere before brushing.
Make sure your dog is comfortable.
First touch your dog's teeth and gums without the brush.
Touching the toothbrush to their teeth.
Introduce the toothpaste to your dog by letting him lick it off your fingers.
Add toothpaste to the toothbrush and start brushing.
Take your time and go back and forth and top to bottom.
Reward and praise along the way.
7. Brushing Frequency
Brushing your teeth is the foundation of good oral health. After your dog has learned to tolerate brushing, trying to do it once a day will be more effective. Brushing once a day can reduce future dental cleanings from the vet later.
8. Know Your Mouth Disorders
Dental disease starts early. As adults, many dogs have some degree of dental issues. Early signs of dental disease include bad breath, yellow or brown tartar buildup on the teeth, and red, swollen gums. Noticing early can help ease your dog's pain quickly. Dental disease can cause chronic pain in your dog that may go unnoticed.
Similar dental issues that occur in people can occur in dogs. Common problems include broken teeth and roots, periodontal disease, infected or abscessed teeth, tumors in the mouth, and misaligned teeth.
9. Chew on This
Chew toys are great ways for your dog to relieve boredom and satisfy his natural instinct to chew. Chewing on chew toys is a natural way for dogs to clean their teeth. Constant chewing scrapes plaque from their teeth. Be sure to rotate and surveil chew toys safely.
10. Diet for Healthy Teeth
There is not a perfect diet for every dog. Your veterinarian can help you determine the right diet for your dog. Keeping your dog healthy is more important than choosing wet or dry food. If your dog has continued to have problems with plaque buildup, there are specially formulated dry dog foods that control plaque and tartar.