Inner South Veterinary Centre
47 Jerrabomberra Ave
- 1800 785 330
Brushing your dog or cats teeth is the gold standard in home oral care for our pets. It is so much more effective than any of the other management tools, which is why dentists recommend we brush rather than just chew bones! But many owners are intimidated by the prospect or just don’t see how it could work with their pet. While it is true that tooth brushing requires the right pet, the right owner and home routine it is actually a lot easier than we often think. Dr Louise Grey recently discovered that tooth brushing was not only easier than expected but that is was really effective. Dr Louise gives us her story below:
"My dog Tilda is a lovey whippet who has the genetic misfortune to be a plaque magnet. Over the years I’ve managed this by feeding her a strict diet of Hills t/d and PlaqueOff s well as having her teeth scaled and polished every 6 months. I’d thought about brushing her teeth but just never quite got there. I know, bad vet, you should practice what you preach!
Well, now I do!
After my husband Nathan and I welcomed our son Frederic into our family he started popping out teeth at around 6 months of age. We felt that as responsible parents we should make some attempt at cleaning them. We opted for gauze brushing over a tooth brush at first as Fred seemed to view the little, cute, soft baby tooth brush as an instrument of torture designed by the Spanish Inquisition. So I would wrap a gauze swab around my finger and attempt to convince him that he should let me wipe his little coppers down.
He was not keen!
So, I thought that demonstrating on the dog he loved so much might convince him that he wanted his teeth brushed. It didn’t! But, it had the remarkable effect of drastically improving Tilda’s teeth!
Brushing a dog's tooth does not mean scrubbing away on all surfaces of the tooth for three minutes. It does not mean lifting back the lips or opening the mouth. There is not tooth paste involved unless the dog likes it as a treat. It’s basically a quick wipe down of the teeth, concentrating on outer surfaces and any problem teeth in particular and followed by a reward – in Tilda’s case a greenie chew.
Tilda now comes to me every night wanting her teeth brushed so she can have her treat. I wrap a gauze swab around my finger and run my finger up under her lip and along the outer surface of her upper teeth. I concentrate on her upper canines and her upper molar teeth. I then run my finger along the outer surface of her lower teeth as best I can without opening her mouth. I do this on each side followed by a quick wipe of her incisors. I do gently lift her upper lip for this. The whole event takes 10 seconds and is followed by a greenie.
Since brushing her teeth I have seen a remarkable improvement in her oral health. Her teeth are better than they have ever been and she has not had a full scale and polish in 18 months!! Tilda likes the process as she gets a treat. I like the process as I have a healthier dog with sweet smelling breath. Now if only I could convince Fred that he should like the process of having his teeth brushed....'
If you would like a demonstration on how to brush your pets’ teeth come in for a complimentary dental check and we will show you just how easy it can be!