Brush Your Dog's Teeth

Brushing teeth
Brush our dogs’ teeth often to prevent bad breath, plaque, and tartar build-up.
Have you taken a good look at your dog’s teeth lately? Experts recommend that we brush our dogs’ teeth often to prevent bad breath, plaque, and tartar build-up.

An in-depth article on oral care is available in the dog den at doggies.com. Here are some highlights.

Food particles trapped between the teeth cause bacteria to swarm into your dog’s mouth to feast on the particles. The mixture of food and bacteria creates a substance known as plaque, which hardens into tartar over the course of about 12 hours. Tartar makes the tooth surface rough, creating a vicious cycle as more food gets trapped on the rough spots. Untreated, the bacteria begin to attack the gums, creating an infection known as gingivitis.

You may be thinking, “Big deal. So my dog has bad breath.” While the bad breath isn’t a big deal by itself, it is a symptom of something more important, namely an infection that can spread to the rest of the body to destroy organs, muscles, and bones.

Brushing teeth
Brushing your dog’s teeth doesn’t have to be a big ordeal.

Brushing your dog’s teeth doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. You can start by applying dog toothpaste to your finger, then rubbing it over the dog’s teeth and gums. It’s especially important that you get the cheek side of the teeth, as the dog has a hard time taking care of this part. Once your dog gets used to having something in his mouth, try using a dog toothbrush which will allow you to get the toothpaste into cracks and crevices your fingers can’t reach.

Keep track of your dog’s dental health by doing daily brushing and inspections. If you notice something changing, it may be time for a visit to a veterinary dentist for a more thorough cleaning. Changes which may indicate the need for professional help include swelling or bleeding gums, sticky saliva, and / or worse than usual breath.

You can find more information on dog dental care here.

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