While you may be diligent about your bi-annual dental cleanings, have you ever had your pet's teeth cleaned? This may be on the bottom of your to-do list, but it's a very important task in order for your dog to be happy and healthy. Read on to learn why dog dental cleaning is important and how it's done.
Why Is Teeth Cleaning Important?
While it's bad for humans to chew tough objects, chewing is a very natural part of a canine's world. Poor dental health can compromise a dog's chewing ability, since it can cause pain and tooth loss. Puppies chew on things to learn about their surroundings. Puppies have baby teeth just like humans; when their adult teeth come in, it can be painful, so they need to chew to soothe themselves.
If your dog can't chew properly, he or she cannot receive proper nourishment. Chewing keeps your dog's teeth clean and their jaw bones strong. Also, if your dog has pain while chewing, he or she could develop behavioral issues. since chewing is a way for dogs to relieve anxiety.
Teeth cleanings not only help your dog to maintain their chewing function, they prevent other diseases. In mild cases, your dog can develop severe halitosis, or bad breath. If dental bacteria get under your dog's gumline, it can travel in the bloodstream and cause kidney, liver, and heart diseases.
How Is Dog Teeth Cleaning Done?
Teeth cleaning at a veterinary office is very similar to how it's done on humans. The vet will take X-rays and examine your dog's mouth while he or she is awake to get a basic idea of their health history. These X-rays can tell the dentist if your dog has broken teeth, abscesses, gum disease, and the like.
Your vet will then draw some blood to make sure there aren't underlying issues that would prevent your pet from being anesthetized. If your dog is in good health otherwise, he or she will be put under so that the vet can do a deep clean. Once your dog is out, the vet will scale the gumline, remove tartar, and polish the teeth.
Your dog usually only needs a good cleaning once a year, but if he or she has dental problems, then you may need to come in more frequently. Smaller breeds tend to develop tartar easily and sometimes need to come in more often, so ask your veterinarian if there are other specific issues that might specifically affect your dog.
Some owners use pet-specific toothpaste and brushes at home on their dogs. Providing your dog with lots of good chew toys is helpful. There are even some treats your dog may like that can stave off tartar and bad breath. Ask dentists such as Brian E Hall for more information on how you can help your dog's dental health.