About Dental Health
It is worthwhile to protect your pet’s dental health early on, as it will be far less expensive and uncomfortable than waiting until they are suffering from periodontal disease.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Many pets acquire some sort of periodontal disease by the time they are three years old, a statistic that is only made more shocking when one realizes that this disease is completely preventable. The disease begins when bacteria in the mouth combine with leftover food particles and form plaque on the surface of the teeth. It only takes a few days for minerals in the saliva to bond with the plaque and form hard tartar. In most cases, pet owners can only detect their pet’s periodontal disease by their bad breath, painful chewing or tooth loss, but by the time these symptoms are detected the pet may have already had dangerous bacteria from under the gums travel through their bloodstream to their heart, kidneys or liver.
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How Do I Know if My Pet Needs a Dental Cleaning?
Regular inspection of your pet’s mouth is important to catch dental disease in the early stages. Tartar may appear as a brownish-gold buildup on the teeth, close to the gumline. Redness or bleeding along the gumline may indicate gingivitis. Other signs of dental disease include:
What Are the Benefits of a Dental Cleaning?
A professional dental cleaning removes not only the visible plaque and tartar on the teeth surfaces but also the bacteria under the gums. This eliminates potential sources of infection to the mouth and other organs and protects your pet from pain and tooth loss.
What Can I Do to Keep My Pet’s Teeth Clean?
Once a dental cleaning has been performed, you can take a number of steps at home to keep your pet’s teeth clean and lengthen the intervals between dental cleanings.
Our veterinarian may recommend a plaque prevention product — a substance that you apply to your pet’s teeth and gums on a weekly basis. The product adheres to the teeth surface to create a barrier that prevents plaque from forming.
Just as in people, daily brushing can help remove food particles from between your pet’s teeth. You can use a child’s toothbrush or purchase a finger brush from your veterinarian. Human toothpastes should be avoided because they contain ingredients that should not be swallowed by your pet. Your dog or cat may like the taste of pet toothpaste, which is available in flavors such as chicken, seafood, and malt.
Several dental diets and treats can also help keep plaque and tartar to a minimum. The diets tend to have larger kibbles to provide abrasive action against the tooth surface when chewed. Or they may contain ingredients that help prevent tartar mineralization. Ask our veterinarian which diets or treats are appropriate for your pet.
Suite 205 - 13340 Smallwood Place
Richmond, BC V6V 1W8
Regional Animal Protection Society
Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) is a no-kill animal services agency that operates what is now Canada's largest cat sanctuary.
Charitable Registration No. 89073 3777 RR0001
The RAPS Animal Hospital is a program of the Regional Animal Protection Society.
Regional Animal Protection Society is not overseen by Government or a Crown corporation and is in no way similar to provincial health authorities and their regional facilities.
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