Dr. Kevin Stepaniuk, dental specialist at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists, wrote some helpful recommendations for brushing your pet’s teeth. We encourage you to adopt these routines to help your pet maintain a healthy mouth, teeth and gums. Prevention is key.
Prevention of periodontal disease should begin at an early age by establishing a routine home care program. Likewise, once the teeth are professionally cleaned, routine care programs are more effective. Daily brushing is recommended; however, if you can only brush your pet’s teeth 3-4 times a week, this effort is still very helpful. A soft, nylon- bristled pet or infant human toothbrush is recommended. Human toothpaste is AVOIDED because it may contain fluoride and detergents that are harmful if swallowed. Toothpaste for dogs & cats is recommended.
Develop a routine in a comfortable area of your house for you and your pet.Gently lift the lips and handle the mouth to allow your pet to become comfortable. To introduce brushing:
- For the first week, allow your pet to lick a small pea sized drop of the toothpaste off your finger; immediately follow with a treat and praise.
- In the second week, allow your pet to lick the toothpaste. Off the toothbrush; immediately follow with a treat and praise.
- The third week, rub the CET toothpaste on your pets front teeth with the toothbrush on the table in view; immediately followed with a treat and praise.
- In the fourth week, begin brushing the outside surface of the teeth with the mouth closed; reward with treat and praise.
- Begin by placing a toothbrush between the lips and outside surfaces of the teeth with the mouth closed. It may help to only do a small area of the mouth one day at a time.
- The toothbrush is placed at a 45- degree angle to the gum line and, using a circular motion, the outside surfaces of the teeth are brushed.
- If you have any questions about brushing your pet’s teeth, please call us or email us and we’ll be happy to help.