Keeping Your Pet's Teeth Clean
Just like with us, it is very important to perform dental care on your pet daily at home. No matter how much we brush we still get tartar build up but nothing like what we would get if we didn't brush daily. It is the same for cats and dogs. We recommend brushing their teeth at least once daily. There are numerous options for brushing animals teeth and for those you can't brush there are other options.
How to brush your pet's teeth:
Brushing your pet's teeth is easy and doesn't take much time. Our recommended goal is a minimum of
once weekly. However, daily brushing is better. The first step is to pick a time when you and your pet are
relaxed. For the first few days, simply hold your pet as you do when petting him/her. Gently stroke the
outside of your pet's cheeks with your finger for a minute or two.
After each session, reward your pet with an appropriate treat and/or praise. For the the next few days -
after your pet has become comfortable with this activity - place a small amount of pet toothpaste on
your finger and let your pet sample the flavor. Pets like the taste of most toothpaste and will soon
consider it a treat.
Next, introduce your pet to an animal toothbrush or fingerbrush. You can also try a dampened
washcloth, paper towel or gauze over your finger before you purchase the brush type you are most
comfortable with. Place a small amount of toothpaste on the brush. Gently raise your pet's upper
lip and place the brush against an upper tooth. With a slow circular motion, gently brush only that
tooth and the adjoining gumline. Each day gradually increase the number of teeth brushed,
but go slowly. Do not go beyond your pet's point of comfort. Build up to approximately 30
seconds of brushing per side. Always remember to reward your pet with a treat and/or lots of
praise after each brushing session.
Points to Remember:
Never use human toothpaste!! If your pet shows signs of aggression, stop immediately!!
Brushing should occur once daily, but if it doesn't fit into your lifestyle there are other options:
Oral Hygiene Rinse: This product is available for dogs and cats. A cat gel product is in re-formulation
and we will carry it when available. The CET Oral Hygiene Rinse is meant to be used once daily when
brushing is not an option. The rinse works because it contains chlorhexidine, an anti-bacterial
antiseptic that kills the bacteria in the mouth for up to 24 hours. When bacteria is not allowed to live
in the mouth, tartar and plaque does not form. You simply put one squirt in the pet's mouth and the
pet will swish it around on its own and do the work for you. When using the rinse is not compatible
with your lifestyle, there is one other option.
Oral Hygiene Chews and Aquadent Water Additive: The Oral Hygiene Chews for dogs and cats are
a yummy and easy way to help keep your pet''s teeth clean on a daily basis. cats have a chew available
in poultry or fish flavor that has a cellophane wrap acting as an abrasion to the teeth to help remove
plaque. Dogs have chlorhexidine rawhide chews or veggiedent chews both of which have
chlorhexidine infused into them. The Aquadent Water Additive is recommended in conjunction with
the chews as alone each does not do as much as when they are used together.
If you have any questions or need help in designed a home dental care plan, we'd be happy to help.
All Virbac CET products are guaranteed. If your pet does not like the product, you can return it to us for a full refund!!
Feline and Canine Dental Cleaning Procedures
If you are unable to brush your pet's teeth (or like some people - no matter how often you brush, your pet still has calculus buildup and gingivitis) then your pet may need a dental cleaning. We will need to have seen your pet within the last 2-3 months for a general physical exam. This helps us to identify any potential periodontal disease so we know how to schedule your pet for the procedure. If your pet has not been seen in the last 2-3 months please let the receptionist know so she can schedule your pet appropriately.
The day of the dental cleaning your pet will need to have been held off of food after eight o'clock the night before and no water after six o'clock the morning of the procedure. You will need to drop your pet off at the clinic at 8 am. Please leave at least 10-15 minutes for paperwork to be filled out and signed.
We will do a preoperative physical exam the day of the dental to make sure nothing has changed since we last saw your pet (this is included in the price of the dental). We then will place an IV catheter (a section of one of the front legs will need to be clipped free of hair for this), anesthetize your pet, place an endotracheal tube (to protect and maintain the airways), and place the monitoring devices (ECG, Blood Pressure and Pulse Oximetry).
The first part of the dental involves scaling the surface of all your pet's teeth. We do this with an ultrasonic scaler which uses high frequency vibrations to clean all of the accumulated calculus.
Next the Doctor will do a thorough exam of all surfaces of the teeth and gums with a hand probe. This allows us to find any pockets, fractures, defects and periodontal disease. If any diseased teeth are found they will be removed. Some teeth have more than one root which requires the doctor to drill the tooth into sections. Each root is then extracted/elevated individually. The gingiva/gums are then sutured closed with an absorbable suture.
The next step is to polish the teeth. This is done with the same instrument human dental hygeinists use to polish our teeth. It removes any left over small pieces of calculus.
The last step is either flouride application or Sanos Sealant application:
Flouride is applied if the owner does not choose to do the sealant. Flouride helps to seal the enamel and protect the teeth for a short period of time.
Sanos Sealant is a product applied to the subgingival area of the teeth (just below the gum line). It helps to slow down the accumulation of calculus post dental. It will last for six months before another application is needed (usually under sedation). If your pet chews on toys a lot then your pet is not a candidate for the sealant. Chewing on toys, greenies, rawhides etc will scrape the sealant off quickly. Please let us know when you check your pet in for their dental if you would like us to apply this sealant.
Once the flouride or sealant is applied then your pet will wake up . Please plan on going over take home instructions with the receptionist when you pick up your pet, this should take about 10-15 minutes. Your pet will probably be a little groggy and will want to sleep the first night. Please follow the take home instructions closely.
If you have any questions about dental procedures or questions after the procedure - don't hesitate to call us!!