Should I Be Brushing My Pet’s Teeth?

French bulldog with red collar outside resting front paws on a wall and showing off healthy teeth

For many of us here at Ashley Laird, DDS, PLLC, pets are an important part of the family. Like any other family member, their oral health is important! Did you know that you should be brushing their teeth regularly to prevent cavities, decay, and other dental issues? Unlike humans, your pets can’t tell you when something hurts, so it’s up to you to keep an eye out and alert your vet if you notice anything unusual.

What Do You Need?

First off, make sure you start brushing your pet’s teeth early in their life so they are used to regular brushing. Depending on your pet and what you have available, you can use a child’s toothbrush, a specially-designed pet toothbrush, or even gauze wrapped around one of your fingers. Whatever you use should be small enough so that you can reach all the corners of your pet’s mouth.

Once you have your toothbrush, you’ll need a special pet toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste, baking soda, or salt to clean your pets’ teeth – they can all be harmful!

How Should You Brush?

You’ll want to brush your pet’s teeth just like your own. Start off with a small dab of toothpaste on your finger to let them get used to the taste. Lift their lip and gently brush the outside surfaces of their teeth, taking care to reach all the way to their back teeth. If you notice anything unusual, you should talk to your vet. Once you’ve finished, be sure to reward your furry friend with a treat for their patience!

How Often Should You Brush?

Veterinarians recommend brushing your pet’s teeth once daily. There are also a variety of treats and toys for pets that help clean their teeth on days when you can’t brush their teeth. Your veterinarian may also recommend professional cleaning to help remove tartar buildup and prevent gingivitis.

Just like with your own teeth, the earlier you detect a problem, the easier it is to treat, while good preventive care habits can help avoid many dental problems in the first place. To schedule your next (human) dental exam with our office, call our friendly team today to set up an appointment.

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