Time to Super Smile! It’s Pet Dental Month!

Super Smiley, blog dog, here with the scoop on how to help your dogs and cats stay healthy, starting at the top! With their teeth! Did you know that plaque and tarter build-up can lead to systemic infection and to liver, kidney and heart disease? Yep! So this is not just about a pretty face and a Super Smile, but also about your pets’ long happy lives.

A quick “brush up” on the facts:

  • “Dog breath” may not just be cosmetic — it may mean serious health issues that might be originating from his teeth!
  • By the age of 2, almost 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have developed periodontal (gum) disease.
  • Periodontal disease is the most common health condition in cats and dogs — even though it is preventable!
Smiley Dental 1

I love my tooth brush and having my teeth brushed!

So where do we start?

According to the American Dental Association, 80 percent of people brush their teeth daily. So why not brush our teeth, too?!

  • First, check with your veterinarian to assess your pet’s overall health and the health of his teeth and gums with a dental evaluation.
  • Follow your veterinarian’s recommended protocol which may include cleaning, X-rays, at home care…
  • Proceed with at-home brushing!

As just a regular dog, I can tell you that I like having my teeth brushed! How did that happen? Like most effective cat and dog training, it’s about positive association and reinforcement. Over a period of about one week, do these three things in gradual stages:

  • Let your pet lick a bit of Pet Toothpaste from your finger and then give him a yummy treat.
  • Next, put some Pet Toothpaste on the Pet Toothbrush and let him lick that followed by a treat.
  • Finally, gently brush a few teeth with his brush and give him a treat. Pretty soon we’re lovin’ it all!

It’s really simple, quick and will result in a lifetime of better health. If you’re still not sold, Megan has a few more bits of info and some heads-up on anesthesia vs. non-anesthesia cleaning and on Pet Dental Month Specials!

Megan here with what’s going on in your pet’s mouth.

Just like in humans, without dental care plaque will build up on the surface of teeth and at the gum line. If it’s not removed by brushing, this can become infected and move past the gums to the surrounding teeth and bone. Also, calcium salts from saliva can turn plaque into hard tartar, which becomes rough and forms a perfect bed for more plaque formation. With this process, gums can inflame and become painful with gingivitis. As gum disease advances, gums will become infected, and this infection can move into the bloodstream and can then spread to the heart, kidneys and liver.

Preventing this process is very simple, especially during Pet Dental Month, because many veterinary clinics offer specials to encourage everyone to bring in their pets.

There are two basic ways to have your pet’s teeth professionally cleaned: with anesthesia or non-anesthesia cleaning. Each offers pros and cons.

Non-anesthesia cleanings eliminate the risk of anesthesia. However while anesthesia comes with its innate risks, it offers opportunity for X-rays, a more complete examination, and a more thorough cleaning which can remove tartar below the gum surface without pain and without the risk of your pet moving quickly and injuring his gums.

After your pet’s dental exam, you can continue celebrating Pet Dental Month with a few simple tools.

  • Pet toothpaste and brush. Never use human toothpaste as your pet could choke on the foam.
  • Toys that encourage chewing that gently clean the teeth like rope toys or toys that have treats hidden inside that can serve to scrape the teeth as the teeth move in to score the goodies.
  • Treats that don’t break down easily so there is friction against the teeth as your pets chew.

With all this info, you and your pets are ready to go into Pet Dental Month with Super Smiles and to come out with Healthy Smiles!

Until Next Time,
Woof and Super Smiles,
From Super Smiley and Megan Blake, The Pet Lifestyle Coach®


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