Did you know that around 80% of dogs and cats will have some form of dental disease before their 4th birthday? Thankfully, there’s lots we can do to help our pets have healthier mouths – so let’s have a closer look at the benefits of a cat or dog teeth cleaning regime!
In a word, yes. If you want a happy, healthy pet, teeth cleaning should be part of your regular routine. This is because – just like people – pets get smelly breath and issues with gums if oral hygiene is left to chance. In the longer term, rotten or infected teeth and gums can leak bacteria into the bloodstream, putting stress on your pet’s heart and kidneys… rather more serious than just breath that’s less than fresh.
All mammals – people and pets! – have lots of naturally-occurring bacteria in their mouths. When these bacteria combine with proteins and saliva in the mouth, a slimy substance called a ‘biofilm’ forms which coats the surfaces of the teeth. This is what we all tend to refer to as plaque – the stuff dentists recommend we brush regularly to remove. Left unchecked, plaque builds up into a harder substance called tartar, which can eventually result in rotten teeth in both pets and people.
Many people dismiss the idea of cleaning their pet’s teeth with excuses like ‘it’s not natural’ or ‘wolves and tigers don’t need their teeth brushing!’. But our domestic pets live very different lives to their wild cousins.
Wild animals hunt for food, and eat a predominantly raw diet that contains lots of natural teeth cleaning materials. That’s things like tough raw bones and their prey’s hides – and despite this, they can suffer from teeth problems too. The difference is that wild animals can’t visit a vet to remove sore teeth or treat abscesses. Sadly, if problems become severe enough to interfere with hunting or eating, the animal simply won’t survive.
Meanwhile, our domestic pets typically eat a more processed diet, and live much longer than their wild counterparts. Though crunchy kibble can help clean teeth to a degree, lots of us feed soft foods – which means our pets need a helping hand to keep their mouths healthy and happy. And even if you feed only dry food, some pets still experience dental problems unless you clean their teeth regularly.
There are lots of teeth cleaning ‘aids’ out there – dental diets, chews, seaweed extracts, water additives and so on. However, just like in people, the fact remains that nothing is as effective as brushing.
You can do this with tooth polish and a soft bristled toothbrush. For guidance on technique, it’s worth asking your vet nurse or a good groomers for a lesson.
Recommendations vary – from after every meal like you might your own, to 4 times a week if you use a pet tooth polish
Here at Lintbells, we got very fed up with the unwieldy brushes we could find at petshops to clean our own cats’ and dogs’ teeth – our pets found them uncomfortable, and there was liver-flavoured toothpaste everywhere!
We thought there must be a better way, and decided to a look into other ways to clean dog teeth. After a lot of research, we came up with a much more practical solution: the YuCARE Tooth Cleaner.
This special sock is really easy to use, and gentle on your pet’s teeth and gums. Just pop it on a finger and gently massage your pet’s teeth. It’s made of a unique microfibre, with 12,000 times more fibres than a toothbrush, so all you need to do is rub the teeth and gums in a circular motion, tooth by tooth.
No hassle, no fuss, and its unique silver-ion formula means it kills bacteria in the mouth on contact, and only needs a quick rinse under cold water before it’s hygienically clean again. We believe it’s the secret to an oral hygiene routine you can commit to – and a single cleaner is good for 4-6 weeks of daily use.
Amazingly, you don’t even need to use pet toothpaste if your best friend hasn’t got built-up tartar – though if you haven’t brushed before, it’s worth starting with a tooth polish or paste to gradually remove the plaque and tartar that has built up previously.
Special dental chews can help when it comes to keeping dog teeth clean, but they add calories to your pet’s diet too. They also only clean the back teeth – so for best oral hygiene, you’ll need to give your furry friend a helping hand.
How often do you brush your pet’s teeth? Do you use bones and chews for teeth cleaning? Please do leave a comment and tell us more about your dog’s dental routine, or your kitty teeth cleaning tips.
And if you found this article useful, why not share with friends – use the icons at the bottom of the page.
Comments will be approved before showing up.