At Home Dental Care
Eric Fold, DVM
February 15, 2018
Can I get all the tartar off at home?
Always have your pet's teeth evaluated before attempting at home dental care. The tartar and gingivitis might be so severe that a full anesthetized dental procedure is warranted. The first step is to get the major tartar off and diseased teeth out. Once the teeth are cleaned, they are polished. Polishing the teeth is an extremely important step that historically was overlooked. Polishing your pets teeth helps keep the acquisition of new buildup at a minimum. Trying to scrape the tartar off by hand is not only dangerous for your pet, putting your hand in a diseased mouth can be dangerous for you as well!
- Have your pet's teeth evaluated by a veterinarian
- Major tartar must be manually removed
- Tooth surfaces MUST be polished
What can I do at home to keep my pet's teeth clean and healthy?
There are several commercially available dental kits that allow at home dental care. These kits give your pet the benefit of healthier teeth and gums, and your wallet will appreciate lower veterinary related fees associated with a full dental procedure. Sure, you might not be able to keep all of the tartar off of your pet's teeth, much like our daily brushing habits, but you will be able to minimize the accumulation. Some pets genetically have bad teeth and require frequent cleaning. When you begin using a brushing kit, know that this is a process that may take several weeks to get your pet fully accustomed to. You might also consider rewarding your pet after brushing their teeth with a special dental chew that makes the experience special while adding additional cleansing. Other options include water additives or topical sprays that bind some of the precursors to tartar.
- At home dental kits to manually remove tartar
- Special dental chews for treats and prevention
- Topical treatments to bind plaque causing agents
To view our dental hygiene and treats section of our online store, click the picture below
What about special foods for my pet?
Some of the major pet food companies make diets that specifically help reduce tartar buildup in dogs and cats. Some of the brands that we at Rock-N-Country Veterinary Services trust are Hill's Science Diet, Purina ProPlan and Royal Canin.
Click on any of the descriptions below to view them in our online store
- Hill's Prescription Diet t/d Feline
- Purina ProPlan DH Dental Health Canine
- Purina ProPlan DH Dental Health Feline
- Royal Canin Canine DENTAL formula
- Royal Canin Feline DENTAL formula
These foods focus on kibble that encourages chewing to remove tartar and are also balanced for long term maintenance. As with any type of pet food, the caloric count should be adjusted for your pet's body condition and life stage.
We at Rock-N-Country Veterinary Services want your pet to have the healthiest teeth year round. By providing at-home dental care you can reduce the tartar and gingivitis accumulation resulting in a happier healthier pet. We encourage owners to brush their pet's teeth and use specially formulated diets and treats. Stop by today and have your pet's smile evaluated!
“Canine Dental Dry Dog Food.” Royal Canin, www.royalcanin.com/products/royal-canin-veterinary-care-nutrition-canine-dental-dry-dog-food/3722.
“C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Kits.” Virbac, us.virbac.com/product/dental/cet-oral-hygiene-kits.
“DenTees Chews.” Dechra Veterinary Products, www.dechra-us.com/therapy-areas/details/dentees%C2%AE-chews.
“DH Dental Health Formula.” Purina ProPlan Diets, www.proplanveterinarydiets.com/products/dh-dental-health-dog/.
“Hill's® Prescription Diet® Dental Care Chews Dog Treats.” Hill's Pet Nutrition , www.hillspet.com/products/pd-dental-care-chews-dog-treats.
“Hill's® Prescription Diet® t/d® Canine.” Hill's® Prescription Diet®, www.hillspet.com/dog-food/pd-td-canine-dry.
“Vetradent™ Water Additive.” Dechra Veterinary Products, www.dechra-us.com/therapy-areas/details/vetradent%E2%84%A2-water-additive.