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Dental Health

An essential part of your pet's healthcare

A healthy mouth is essential to help support your pet's natural resistance to disease. Dental Plaque is a build up of a mixture of oral bacteria, food debris and proteins in the saliva. This hardens on the teeth to form calculus, further accumulation can begin to push the gum back. This leads to inflammation and infection of the gums causing redness and swelling (Gingivitis). Dental disease can be reversed without difficulty if treated early in its development. Prevention is better then cure, especially when you consider that more then 80% of dogs and cats over the age of 3 years have some form of dental disease. 

Looking out for early signs is vital as appropriate dental care can prevent many of the dental problems seen by vets

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Discoloured teeth from white to brown/yellow as tartar mineralises
  • Difficulty eating, loss of appetite
  • Sensitivity around the mouth – Pawing at the mouth
  • Dribbling saliva
  • Reddening of the gums

How to prevent dental disease

We offer a variety of nurse's clinics including dental hygiene consultations to find a dental hygiene routine that suits you, your animal and your lifestyles. Regular check-ups every 6 months are important to detect any problems at an early stage as tartar can start to build up again as early as the next meal after dental treatment. Homecare, initially from an early age and after dental treatment, is the most effective way to prevent problems occurring or to help prevent further problems. There are a number of different options to try:

  • Use an toothpaste – apply daily with a gentle brushing action
  • Use a medium bristle type toothbrush & toothpaste specifically for animals
  • Try to introduce at an early age, but its never too late to start
  • Ideally brush teeth daily, pick a time when you and your animal are relaxed
  • X-shape dental chews
  • Prescription diets (such as Purina or Hills)

Step by Step guide to brushing your pet's teeth

  • DAY 1 - Gently stroke the outside of your pet's cheeks with your finger only and slowly lift the lip for a few seconds. Reward and praise at the end of a session and repeat a couple of times throughout the day
  • DAY 2 - Repeat as above and also place a small amount of toothpaste on the end of your finger and let your pet sample it. See their reaction to the taste, make it an enjoyable experience with lots of praise
  • DAY 3 - Repeat Day 2 but his time gently massage gums and teeth for 30 — 45 seconds. Reward with a treat and praise.
  • DAY 4 - Repeat day 3 adding 15 seconds times to running your finger or finger brush over your pet's teeth. When the animal is comfortable with these finger brushes, toothbrushes can be introduced. Perseverance and a lot of praise is needed to succeed. Always reward with a treat and praise.
  • DAY 5 - If all is going well, run your finger over the teeth for 30 seconds and then gently insert the toothbrush and, again, run over the teeth for 30 seconds.
  • DAY 6 - Repeat as Day 5 and increase the time by 30 seconds.
  • DAY 7 - By now you should be aiming to spend at least one minute on each side of the mouth. If you require assistance ask a nurse to demonstrate the easiest way to start brushing teeth.
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