Pet care involves more than just putting food and water out every day. Your pet's teeth and gums also need regular cleaning just like you would do for your oral hygiene routine. Pets that eat a soft diet are especially prone to cavities, but all animals can develop dental problems if they don't receive proper care. At Perkins Veterinary Clinic in Stillwater, OK, we offer pet dental services that are designed to promote good oral health throughout your pet's life.
How Do You Brush Your Pet's Teeth?
Most pets tolerate toothbrushing well when you begin doing it at an early age. You'll want to use a pet-friendly toothpaste that your veterinarian approves of. You can either use a special toothbrush that is designed for pets or a finger brush, depending upon your comfort level with putting your fingers in your pet's mouth.
Once you choose your tools, you'll use a similar gentle, circular motion to hit all of the surfaces of your pet's teeth. Keep in mind that some pets need time to get used to toothbrushing. Until your pet is more comfortable, you might need to brush only one or two teeth during each session. You'll eventually be able to work your way up to brushing all of your pet’s teeth in one session.
How Often Do Dogs and Cats Need Dental Exams and Cleanings?
Most pets should see their vet for a dental exam about once a year. Senior pets and others that are prone to tooth decay and gum disease may need to visit their vet more often. Regular cleanings help to remove plaque and food debris that you can't get with brushing, and making sure to treat any problems that are found during the exam early can prevent tooth loss.
What Are the Signs of a Pet Dental Problem?
A pet with tooth decay might refuse to eat their normal diet, or they may show signs of pain such as scratching at their face. You might also notice that your pet's breath has a foul odor if they have a dental or gum infection. Seeing brown or black stains on your pet's teeth could indicate decay or a need for a thorough cleaning. Once your pet has all of their adult teeth in, you'll want to be alert for any loose ones since this could indicate that they have gum disease.
Schedule a Pet Dental Exam with Our Veterinarian in Stillwater, OK
Ideally, dental exams should begin early in an animal's life, but it is also never too late to start paying attention to your pet's dental needs. Our team at Perkins Veterinary Clinic in Stillwater, OK, is highly trained in keeping pets comfortable during exams and cleanings. We also can treat common pet dental problems so that your favorite animal can eat healthily and enjoy a pain-free life. Call us today at (405) 547-2442 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian.