Phoenix and Zoe ~ Oral Hygiene Routine Video ~
I use two different products on my pets. I use an enzymatic tooth paste designed specifically for canines and I have a separate one for felines. My other favorite product is the Tropiclean Clean Teeth Gel. I use the tooth paste first and then follow up with the Teeth Gel.
I place my brush at a 45 degree angle and brush in small circular motions.
If you are first starting out with brushing your pet's teeth take it slow. Do a little bit at a time.. Some brushing is better than no brushing. If they don't allow you to handle them there are ways to make them feel better about it. There's desensitization and classical counter conditioning. You can teach them to love having their mouths handled. You can also teach behaviors such as the "Calm Chin Rest (kikopup video)" to help get them ready for having their mouths handled and their teeth brushed.
Check out this link: Ten Steps to Your Dog’s Dental Health for more information on dental disease.
(from the website above):
Signs of Oral Disease
The following are signs that your dog may have a problem in his mouth or gastrointestinal system and should be checked by a veterinarian:
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
- Inflamed gums
- Tumors in the gums
- Cysts under the tongue
- Loose teeth
Getting familiar with the possible mouth problems your dog may encounter will help you determine when it's time to see a vet about treatment:
- Periodontal disease is a painful infection between the tooth and the gum that can result in tooth loss and spread infection to the rest of the body. Signs are loose teeth, bad breath, tooth pain, sneezing and nasal discharge.
- Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused mainly by accumulation of plaque, tartar and disease-producing bacteria above and below the gum line. Signs include bleeding, red, swollen gums and bad breath. It is reversible with regular teeth cleanings.
- Halitosis—or bad breath—can be the first sign of a mouth problem and is caused by bacteria growing from food particles caught between the teeth or by gum infection. Regular tooth-brushings are a great solution.
- Swollen gums develop when tartar builds up and food gets stuck between the teeth. Regularly brushing your dog's teeth at home and getting annual cleanings at the vet can prevent tartar and gingivitis.
- Proliferating gum disease occurs when the gum grows over the teeth and must be treated to avoid gum infection. An inherited condition common to boxers and bull terriers, it can be treated with antibiotics.
- Mouth tumors appear as lumps in the gums. Some are malignant and must be surgically removed.
- Salivary cysts look like large, fluid-filled blisters under the tongue, but can also develop near the corners of the jaw. They require drainage, and the damaged saliva gland must be removed.
- Canine distemper teeth can occur if a dog had distemper as a puppy. Adult teeth can appear looking eroded and can often decay. As damage is permanent, decayed teeth should be removed by a vet.
Chew toys ~ Chew toys can be awesome for dental health. They satisfy a dog's need to chew while strengthening their teeth and gums. Chewing on a chew toy can also help massage his/her gums and help keep their teeth clean by scraping away soft tartar. My dogs absolutely love their nylabone chews. We have several different types. DuraChew® Double Bone - Bacon and DuraChew® S Shape - Bacon
Feeding a high quality diet can be helpful as well. There's quite a few dental treats and chews on the market, too. My dogs are fed a kibble diet. They are currently on Merrick Grain Free Duck Formula. They also get frozen raw bones a few times a week.
"Dr. Bellows neatly sums up the need for optimum oral health throughout a dog’s life by telling me this, "When a client asks me how long their puppy will live, I usually respond 15-17 years if you brush their teeth daily … 11-13 years if you don't."