(PET CARE/DOGS) Wondering why your dog’s breath is so stinky? When was the last time they had their teeth cleaned?

Here’s some bad breath fighting information, provided by Ciara Black from the Dog Help Network, a resource for dog health related websites. Read on for why she says cleaning your dog’s teeth is important, and for tips on doing it right. — Global Animal

Get rid of doggie breath the right way! Photo Credit: Saratoga.com

Dog Help Network, Ciara Black

Caring for your dog’s teeth is extremely beneficial. Surprisingly, cleaning your dog’s teeth is one of the most commonly overlooked tasks of owning a pet. When it comes to cleaning your dog’s teeth, it is important to understand the best practices for his oral care.

About 80% of dogs show signs of gum disease and other dental problems by age 3. Catching dog dental problems early will help to avoid serious dental ailments in the future. The best way to catch any possible dental issues is to have your dog’s teeth cleaned by a professional, and then keeping up on his oral care at home every week to two weeks.

Your dog’s teeth start to come in at about 3 to 4 weeks old. These teeth will eventually fall out to make room for adult teeth. Once these permanent teeth have come in, it’s time to start a cleaning routine for his teeth. Those 42 dog teeth cannot clean themselves! Teeth cleaning should be just as important as grooming his fur and clipping his nails.

Benefits Of Professional Cleaning

Just as with humans, it is recommended that dogs get a routine teeth cleaning done professionally once a year. Even if you clean your dog’s teeth regularly, a professional cleaning will help to deep clean your dog’s teeth and gums.

Other benefits of professional teeth cleaning include:

Photo Credit: sheknows.com
  • Removal of tartar – Tartar is very easily formed around the teeth. All it takes is a few days without teeth cleaning for tartar to build and harden on the teeth. Tartar is caused by plaque deposits. If plaque is not removed, it will turn into tartar, which can only be removed by a professional.
  • Early detection of dental problems – We may notice major abnormalities in and around our dog’s mouths, but it takes a professional to be able to examine your dog’s teeth and gums properly. A pet dental hygienist will inspect the teeth, gums and mouth of your dog. Dental problems can be detected right away and treated to avoid any serious pain or health problems.
  • Whiter teeth and fresh breath – If your dog’s breath seems to be especially terrible lately, that means that there is a build up of tartar and bacteria on the teeth and gums. A professional dog teeth cleaning treatment will help to polish the teeth and rid them of any tartar deposits, which discolor your dog’s teeth and give him that smelly dog breath.
  • Preventing Disease – One of the most important parts of having your dog’s teeth cleaned professionally? Preventing the possibility of serious oral problems in the future. When tartar and plaque builds up on the teeth, it can create serious bacterial infections. Bacteria from your dog’s mouth may enter the bloodstream, cause loose and rotting teeth, among other awful oral problems.

How To Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

After a deep cleaning from the veterinarian, you should be able to keep up with your dog’s teeth care at home. This is especially important if he has very discolored, yellow or brown teeth and gums.

When beginning teeth care at home, try to brush your dog’s teeth once or twice a week so he can get used to it. Once you get into a routine, it will become easier for you and your dog.

  • You can use either a toothbrush or a finger brush for cleaning your dog’s teeth. Test both out to decide which is best for you and your dog.
  • Find a comfortable position, and grab hold of your dog’s muzzle. You need to be able to hold his lips up and away from the teeth for proper cleaning, and to avoid catching the lips. Your dog will likely pull away and make a fuss, so just be patient.
  • Using a toothpaste safe for dogs, (NEVER use human toothpaste! There are plenty available at your local pet store.) brush in circular motions, just as you would your own teeth. Be firm, but gentle around the gums.
  • Don’t forget to brush the back teeth and gums as well. Using a toothbrush is usually the easiest way to reach the back of your dog’s mouth.
  • After you’re done, give your dog some water. He will likely be thirsty!
  • You can give your dog dental bones and treats in between cleanings. There are many available on the market, and they help to give your dog’s teeth that extra scrub before you clean his teeth again.

For More Information

If you are considering having your dog’s teeth cleaned professionally, always talk to your veterinarian. There are many things to consider before having your dog’s teeth cleaned. Your veterinarian will also be able to give you the best advice on cleaning your dog’s teeth.

For more information about dog teeth cleaning, dog teeth problems, and information about professional cleaning, visit www.dogteethhelp.com.