How often do you go to the dentist? Do you brush your teeth daily and keep up with your dental care? We are sure you do, because dental health is very important. When your teeth or gums hurt, you notice. Taking care of your teeth is a consistent part of your day, and they require upkeep. Your pet’s teeth should be treated with the same care! Animals use their teeth for a lot more than we do, actually. When we would use our opposable thumbs to pick something up, our pets use their teeth. More often than not, animals use their teeth because they need them. This also means that they need to be well-taken care of so that they can use them for as long as possible. Because they cannot clean their teeth themselves, it is up to you. Cloud Peak Veterinary Clinic will partner with in keeping your pet’s teeth and mouth healthy!
Have you ever tried to brush your pet’s teeth? Much like clipping their nails, they most likely will not let you do it without trying to take a chunk out of you. This resistance is why you should take your dog to the vet to have their teeth professionally cleaned. Let’s walk through the process and what vets look for when examining your animal’s teeth and gums.
Behind the Scenes
After a cleaning, you may notice that your bill includes the price for anesthesia. This might seem like an incorrect charge; however, your vet used anesthesia to check up on your little buddy’s health. As you know, pets are rather averse to having their teeth cleaned, especially by a stranger who is wearing scrubs! The anesthesia helps calm down the patient so the veterinarian can clean and check thoroughly. A vet needs open access to not only the teeth, but the gums as well. Gums are very telling of the health of the teeth and everything underneath. This can include x-rays, but often the vet will check how intact the roots of each tooth are with a tool instead. Consider how invasive and scary the procedure is to a dog who does not understand that it is for their benefit – that’s why vets often opt to use anesthesia.
While your animal is under anesthesia, vets check all the roots as well as the health of each tooth. They also look at the plaque and tartar build up. If you are unsure what that is and what it leads to, check out our article “Why Your Pet’s Dental Health Matters to Us”! The plaque starts off white, then gradually gets darker the worse the condition is. Think about your own teeth when you can see plaque on your teeth. That is exactly what vets are looking for to prevent more serious issues.
You may be wondering how often you need your pet’s teeth cleaned, and if they need to be taken to the vet every time.
At Home Care
The best kind of treatment is prevention! We do not want your pets to get to the point where all their teeth need to be removed. If you are unsure about the health of your pet’s teeth, get a cleaning and then work on the prevention. There are a lot of options, so if one method does not sit well with your furry family member, there are other avenues. The most common method people tend to think of is taking a toothbrush straight to the source. This is often uncomfortable for both of you and will most likely leave you frustrated. So now what? Maybe your pet does not like the feeling of the bristles, but does not mind if you’re holding their mouth open. If this describes your pet, then take a look at dental wipes! They have to be used more frequently than brushing as it does not clean to the same extent. If your animal does not like their mouth touched, find some dental chews! And on that same note, there is pet food made with your pet’s teeth in mind. Before purchasing, discuss this option with your veterinarian, as many companies advertise that their product helps with plaque, bad breath, tartar, etc on the packing, but really have no special ingredients for doing so. The Veterinary Oral Health Council dedicates their time to finding the best products for teeth cleaning. There are many products out there that are good for your pet, but do your research before spending your precious dollars!
Check out their list here about what products are going to help you protect your pet’s oral health.
There is much more that Cloud Peak offers besides dental care. To get the best care around, give us a call and we will take care of you. When you join our family, we will make sure that your animal is healthy and happy! Our number is (307) 347-2781. We are looking forward to hearing from you.