How often should I clean my dog’s teeth?

Just like humans, you should clean your dogs teeth every day, or at least every other day. While a professional cleaning is recommended once or twice a year, general cleaning should be done daily. This can be a tricky task at first, so if possible start while your pet is young so they get used to it. The first step will be getting your pup used to the process. At first, start with just a few of the front teeth, and as they get more comfortable with the process gradually include more teeth in the cleaning. Dogs have 42 teeth, and you want to make sure that you eventually work up to cleaning them ALL. Owners should aim for a daily cleaning, but if a day gets missed it is not the end of the world.

Why is a professional cleaning recommended if I brush my dog’s teeth every day?

Just like people who brush their teeth every day, a routine trip to the dentist should never be dismissed. Neglected teeth aren’t just unattractive, they can be extremely dangerous to a dog’s health. Plaque and bacteria accumulate on teeth over time, even if they are brushed daily. If a plaque buildup goes unnoticed the gums can become inflamed, and bacterial infections may develop. At this point your pet will experience pain when eating, or playing with toys, and that can be just the beginning. A severe build up of bacteria can cause teeth to fall out, or worse the bacteria can get into the blood stream and cause damage to the heart, lungs, kidney, and liver. A pet owner’s best defense against these problems is daily maintenance and a professional checkup and cleaning at least once a year.

How do I clean my pets teeth?

Below are some simple steps to follow:

  • Choose whether you will be cleaning with a toothbrush and tooth paste, or dental wipe around your finger.
  • If your dog is ready to play, it may be difficult to get him to sit still, so wait until they are relaxed.
  • Find a position that allows you to easily access your dog’s mouth while maintaining a secure hold.
  • Gently lift the upper lip on one side and begin brushing in a circular motion. Refresh with more toothpaste as needed.
  • Be sure to clean the gum line, this is where many problems start.
  • Work your way around the mouth brushing each tooth.
  • Be sure to visit your veterinarian once a year for a professional cleaning.