Dog Teeth Cleaning: How To Properly Clean Your Dog's Teeth
Brushing your dog's teeth seems absurd, right? Well, responsible pet parents that want healthy pets do because this is one of the best ways to protect your pup's health at any age and avoid dental disease. In fact, healthy teeth mean a healthy gut.
Unfortunately, many owners overlook dog teeth cleaning which often lands them seeking veterinarian services. We mostly tend to focus on a healthy and shiny coat, but hardly anyone cares about tooth brushing or dental health. That’s about to change. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why to brush your dog's teeth and how to do it properly without calling upon other services to help.
How many teeth do dogs have?
Dogs have two sets of teeth in their lifetime. A puppy will have 28 deciduous teeth also known as primary, baby or milk teeth. Adult dogs have 42 permanent teeth, also known as secondary teeth.
Why use toothpaste for dogs?
Helps you get rid of bad breath
Dogs have bad breath, same as humans - not something we love! But what most owners don't realise is that stinky breath can be linked to some gastrointestinal, lung or dental issues. If you notice your canine's breath suddenly smells differently, exceptionally bad or sweet, visit the veterinary clinic to check their wellness.
Dog teeth cleaning and check ups may ensure your pet's wellbeing and prevent dental issues like periodontal disease.
Averts gum disease and maintains oral health
Gum disease often affects the tissue that surrounds your pup's teeth, more specifically gums. It's one of the most common conditions found in dogs. Also, minerals in saliva along with food remains and bacteria will form plaque, which can cause gingivitis, an inflammatory condition.
One of the best ways to prevent gum diseases is to regularly brush your pet's teeth and use toothpaste specifically designed for this purpose.
Prevents tooth decay
Nowadays, we have toothpaste that is formulated in a way to prevent tooth decay. These types of products will remove plaque from your pet's teeth. However, you need to brush their teeth daily. If you find something irregular in their mouth, don't try brushing dog's teeth; contact your veterinary clinic as they could need a procedure.
DIY dental care could cause more problems than good and cause unnecessary pain to your pet while damaging their gums and teeth.
Inflammation is a serious condition and signs of dental disease that needs to be treated at a vet's office. Due to a lot of pain, your dog will avoid drinking and eating properly. You will notice swelling and redness around their gums, which can be extremely painful.
Other symptoms may include fatigue, continuous pawing, excessive drooling, whining, bad breath, plaque and tartar build and lack of interest, (Note, these can also be signs of periodontal disease). Usually, poor dental hygiene leads to gum infection. Therefore, we can't stress enough how important it is to regularly use toothpaste and practice dog teeth cleaning.
Tartar buildup leads to serious tooth issues. While it doesn't take too long to form, it can instantly damage your pet's teeth. It first starts as plaque that forms a few hours after eating. When plaque and salt from the dog's saliva mix up, they create a buildup that, after some time, hardens and turns into tartar.
Tartar is an excellent ground for bacteria growth, causing many dental issues, such as tooth loss or tooth decay. High-quality toothpaste and regular dog's teeth clean will prevent tartar from forming, ensuring your dog has nice and healthy teeth.
What toothpaste is best for dogs?
Considering there are multiple brands available on the market, pet parents have difficulty choosing the right dog dental care. While a brand can make a difference, the ingredients list is what you should be focusing on.
Make sure that the toothpaste you choose for dog teeth cleaning has the following ingredients:
Coconut oil has numerous benefits for your dog's teeth and gums and your dog's dental health. First of all, it can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi due to lauric acids. Some studies have shown that coconut oil can reduce gingivitis, a heavy inflammation of the gums.
The regular use of coconut oil when you brush dog's teeth can minimise plaque buildup and combat many gum diseases.
Many may confuse MCT oil with coconut oil, but there is a difference. MCT oil is present in dairy products, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil. Manufacturers make MCT oil by refining palm or coconut oil to create a pure concentrate.
Similar to coconut oil, MCT oil has the ability to fight bacteria and keep your dog's teeth and gums healthy.
Green tea extract
Green tea extract is great for the oral cavity because it features compounds that control inflammation and fight bacterial infection. Considering it is rich in antioxidants, green tea extract can minimise dental plaque and the acidity of saliva.
Further on, this ingredient can be a valuable ally in fighting cavities. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, green tea extract helps with gum diseases. On top of everything, green tea is linked with better breath. Why? It kills germs that make your pup's mouth smelly.
Lemon myrtle has proven antimicrobial properties and has been used for centuries to treat inflammation and oral infection. So naturally, many toothpaste brands use it as an active ingredient. Also, its delicious flavour will have your canine craving for more.
Beeswax is a common ingredient in toothpaste, and it's perfectly safe for dogs. It helps maintain dental hygiene and it's often used as a treatment for infections.
Can you use human toothpaste on dogs?
Absolutely not! There are components in human toothpaste that are toxic to canines. Let's start with the most obvious one, fluoride.
In high doses, fluoride is poisonous to dogs. Human toothpaste is made to be rinsed, not swallowed, unless you want a whole lot of veterinary problems! So, how do you plan to convince your pooch to spit the toothpaste out? Of course, your dog might not feel anything if you use human toothpaste once or twice, but long-term exposure increases toxicity levels in their bodies.
The acute signs of fluoride toxicity include:
- Seizures and weakness
- Urinary and faecal incontinence
- Nausea and vomiting
- Excessive drooling
After all, canine toothpaste is designed to be swallowed and be perfectly safe for your pup.
SLS or sodium lauryl sulfate is the next ingredient you need to keep a close eye on. Human toothpaste is designed to foam, thanks to SLS. When you expose canines to SLS, it can lead to gastrointestinal issues. That's why toothpaste for dogs never foams when you brush dog's teeth.
And lastly, we have xylitol, a sugar substitute in human hygiene products and food. While this ingredient has been linked to preventing tooth decay in people, that's not the case with dog dental cleaning.
Sadly, this ingredient has been slowly killing dogs, causing low blood sugar and liver damage. So make sure to check the ingredient list before giving anything to your pet - you can even consult with a veterinary professional to double check!
How to choose the best toothbrush for dogs?
When selecting a toothbrush for your canine, pay attention to your pet's size and your experience level. It's crucial to get a product that's specifically designed to clean dog's teeth. Toothbrushes often very in size from small to large.
The most appropriate toothbrush to help with dog teeth cleaning will have an angled head or it will be double-headed. It also needs to have soft bristles and be gentle on your pup's gums and teeth. If you are new to this and need some time getting used to the whole routine, we suggest getting a finger brush.
Later on, when you feel more confident in your skills and have learned the ropes for cleanings at home, you can switch to one of the options we mentioned above.
A double-headed toothbrush is great because it surrounds the tooth, allowing you to clean the front and back at the same time. Make sure that the toothbrush you choose has a long handle. That way, it will be easier to manoeuvre, especially if you are dealing with a restless dog.
Tips for brushing your dog's teeth at home
Choose the right time
Brushing their teeth when they are calm and relaxed is the best timing. You need to set up a routine and get your dog accustomed to daily tooth brushing. Keep in mind that regular dog dental cleaning can prevent plaque buildup, tooth decay, gum diseases and painful infection. The more training the better!
Get in the right position
Your dog needs to feel comfortable. Don't hold them down or stand above them when you clean dog's teeth. Try kneeling or sitting instead. It will help your pup calm down. If they seem anxious or upset, try again later, don't do anything by force. Seek professional advice if you're struggling with this.
Prepare their gums
Test how willing is your pet to have their teeth cleaned by rubbing your finger across their gums. This will help them get used to friction and toothbrush.
Test the toothpaste
Apply some toothpaste to your finger and let your pup lick it. They need to feel the texture and flavour. If they don't like the taste, try a different brand.
Finally, when your pet feels comfortable enough with all the touching, it's time to use a toothbrush and teeth cleaner for dogs. Angle toothbrush at 45 degrees so you can reach the gum line and use circular motions to clean away plaque. Be careful not to brush your pet's teeth too hard.
Don't forget about the reward
When you are done brushing, we recommend rewarding your pet for their good behaviour. Give them their favourite treat after you've finished brushing dog's teeth. Follow this procedure until it becomes easy for your dog.
How to clean dogs teeth?
Brushing your dog's teeth needs to be a positive experience, whether it's at a puppy life stage or a senior dog. This job becomes more fun if you have the right tools. We recommend using these six tips to help clean dog's teeth at home and allow your pet to have a dazzling smile and fresh breath.
Get in contact and tell us about your canine dental experience, we can’t wait to find out! Dog teeth cleaning not for you and struggling to get those pearly whites? Worried about periodontal disease? Try dental chews, special dental dog food or dental treats! Shop dog dental range right here! For any age and breed of dog.