February is National Pet Dental Health Month

pet clinic little rock arDid you know that your pet’s bad breath is caused by bacteria? Your pet’s mouth is full of bacteria. Many of these bacteria will breed on the surface of your dog’s teeth to form plaque. Allowed to remain on his or her teeth, plaque will mineralize and become known as tartar and ultimately calculus. When this tartar and calculus press on the delicate gum tissue, the gums become inflamed and infected, this is known as gingivitis. Eventually, the slow destruction of the pet’s teeth will occur, as gum recession and infection worsen and the tooth is then lost to disease. In addition, bacteria are absorbed into the blood stream and can be carried to other organs. Heart valve infections, kidney problems, and liver problems are frequently caused by dental disease.

To address the significance of oral health care for pets, the AVMA sponsors National Pet Dental Health Month every February. Click on the links below to learn more about how you can improve the dental (and overall) health of your pets.

Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

pet clinic little rock arInstructions by the AAHA

  1. Place your hand over your pet’s muzzle from the top
  2. Gently squeeze and push his lips on one side between the back teeth (to keep his mouth open)
  3. Pull his head back gently so his mouth opens
  4. Brush his teeth on the opposite side
  5. Repeat this process fo the other side

*The entire process should only take a minute or two. If your dog continues to resist, try gently wrapping him in a large bath towel with only his head sticking out. Above all, avoid stress and keep sessions short and positive.

Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

pet clinic little rock arInstructions by the Petful

  1. Hold your kitty in your lap and let her get comfortable.
  2. Once she is relaxed, gently raise her lip on one side of her mouth and begin brushing on the outer portions of her teeth. Always brush down away from the gum line so that you loosen any embedded food particles and push them out of the mouth.
  3. On the bottom jaw, brush up away from the gum line. You may need to open her mouth by gently pinching her two cheeks between your two fingers, but cats will generally open up on their own once they taste the toothpaste.
  4. Continue working your way around the outside of her teeth on both sides until you have brushed the entire mouth.
  5. You don’t need to rinse her mouth with anything at this point because the toothpaste is made to be eaten — there are no chemicals that can hurt her tummy. Allow her access to her water bowl once you’re finished.

Can I Have Their Teeth Professionally Cleaned?

Of course! Your pet clinic Little Rock AR offers “Dentistry” as one of our many services. The goal of a professional dental cleaning is to remove the tartar and plaque above and below the gumline. Special dental instruments are used to do this. Ultrasonic scalers, hand scalers, polishers, and sealants are used. Tartar and calculus removal above the gumline is the most important part of this treatment since this is what causes gum recession and tooth infection.

Your pet will need to stay with us for the day. General anesthesia is utilized for this procedure This way, we can properly clean and examine your pet’s teeth. We understand that many people are concerned about general anesthesia, so please give us a call to ask our staff any questions you may have.

Take the AVMA Quiz to Discover How Much You Know About Your Pet’s Dental Health!

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