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Posted on 02-05-2014

The condition of the mouth is very important to overall health and can provide clues about other diseases in the body.  An unhealthy mouth can seriously affect overall wellbeing.  Without proper hygiene, bacteria can cause severe oral infections, bad breath, lead to tooth loss, and affect the liver, kidneys and heart (among other things).  Maintaining your pet’s oral health care is an important part of keeping them healthy. 

The most effective thing that you can do at home to prevent dental problems is to brush your pet’s teeth.  Brushing teeth daily to every other day is the most effective way to prevent buildup of bacteria as well as lessen the need for dental cleanings in the office.  

Here are 4 quick tips to help with brushing your pet’s teeth at home:

1.When brushing teeth go slow in the beginning to let your pet get accustomed to the process.  Let them lick the tooth paste off the brush (offer as a treat) then slowly build up with short increases in the amount of brushing. Do only as much as your pet will tolerate and slowly build that up. 

2. You only need to brush the outside of your pet’s teeth (surfaces facing the cheeks).

3.Brush gently in a circular pattern around the teeth and base of the gums, about a minute of brushing total should be good.  

4. Brushing can be done with a toddler soft bristled tooth brush, a finger brush, a wash cloth or gauze square. -Veterinary toothpaste should be used (we recommend CET enzymatic toothpaste).  Never use human toothpaste because floride is toxic to pets.  

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