As integrative veterinary professionals our commitment to you is to keep your pet healthy using a balanced approach and all therapeutic options. Keeping bacteria from infected teeth and gums out of your pet’s bloodstream is a huge leap forward in supporting overall quality of life and health.
Studies have shown that dogs with periodontal (gum) disease have more severe microscopic damage in their kidneys, heart muscle, and liver than dogs who do not have periodontal disease. Over time this bacteria load has the potential to create more severe diseases for your pet at earlier life stages and often requires more medical intervention. Working with you to help you take excellent care of your pet’s teeth translates into better overall health for your pet.
The key to excellent pet dental health requires regular veterinary care, as well as consistent home care.
Home care can begin the moment you bring your new puppy or kitten home. If this didn’t happen in your pet’s first year, don’t worry. It is never too late to start a good home care program. Our veterinary technicians can show you how to brush your pet’s teeth or follow these informative links for your cat or dog. If your dog is the nervous or excitable type and you would like to create a relaxed experience with your dog check out this training video.
Helpful hints include:
- Use a finger brush, or a soft human toothbrush.
- Never use force or excessive restraint to get the pet to accept brushing. Make brushing a pleasant experience and take a gradual approach that familiarizes your pet to brushing.
- Use a toothpaste designed for pets; most dogs and cats love the taste of the chicken or fish flavors. Never use human toothpaste; additives such as fluoride can cause gastric irritation, or worse.
Brushing is the best way of removing plaque and preventing dental disease at home. Brushing removes plaque on the outside of the crown (above-gum portion) of the tooth and, if done properly, on most of the subgingival (underneath the gum) surface. It also stimulates the gums to keep them healthy. Plaque can still accumulate below the gum line; so, the need for an annual check-up and cleaning, if necessary, is still an essential part of a pet’s health program.
Can’t brush or want to help between brushing?
Our veterinarians recommend several products that can help reduce plaque buildup. These products can be added to your pet’s food, water, or rubbed on their gums to help prevent plaque buildup. Remember brushing is always your best preventative. These products should be used in addition to brushing to promote excellent oral health.
- Plaque Off– is a specifically selected seaweed, Asophyllum nodosum, harvested from the clean cold water of Norway and Iceland that you sprinkle on your pet’s food. Plaque Off affects the ability of plaque to “stick” to the teeth.
- Perio Support– is a combination of natural ingredients designed to control plaque and improve gum health. It is sprinkled on your pet’s food.
- Vetz Life Oral Gel– is a combination of essential oils, (Thyme, Neem, Peppermint) and extracts (Grape Seed, Grapefruit Seed) that promote gum health and plaque prevention. This product is rubbed on the pet’s gums.
- Healthy Mouth Oral Gel – is gel rubbed on the gums containing human grade ingredients such as papain, yucca, chlorophyll, clove and other natural ingredients designed to control plaque and improve gum health. Recommended by Veterinary Oral Health Council
An additional list of dental products and diets that have been accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council can be found on their website.
It is important to keep pets’ teeth clean rather than face the risks of disease such as bacterial endocarditis (infection of the heart valves), pulmonary disorders, renal disease, hepatic (live) disease, or auto-immune disorders, to name a few.
Regular home care, combined with regular veterinary exams, and professional veterinary cleanings, will help reduce your pet’s likelihood of future dental extractions and a help your pet live a healthier life.
Our staff is always available to help you assess the health of your pet’s mouth. Please feel free to call and schedule a no charge oral health exam with one of our nurses if you have any concerns about your pet’s oral health.
Wishing you and your pet excellent oral health.