Cleaning your dog's teeth is a must-do in order to help prevent dental issues such as gingivitis, rotting teeth or tooth loss in your pup. Although your dog may not willingly open his mouth for the toothbrush and cleaning, you do need to try to get the job done. Starting when your pup is young will help, but if you're a late starter with brushing your dog's teeth, you'll need to start slowly to get your dog used to it. See below for some tips to help get your dog's teeth cleaned and signs of dental problems to watch out for.
Start Out Slowly
As stated above, you'll need to begin slowly with tooth brushing. To start, just get your dog used to touching his mouth area. Try lifting his lips and just looking at his teeth. Once he's used to that part, you can try a finger brush on your finger and brushing just the front teeth. Once he is used to that, try to get further into his mouth. Keep the experience positive and don't get too pushy with it. This is a new experience, so go slowly and reward your dog with a treat for doing a good job.
Once your dog gets used to the finger brush, try adding toothpaste for a more thorough cleaning. Never use human toothpaste on your dog, only use toothpaste made specifically for dogs. Ask your veterinarian about which type is best for your pup.
After your dog is used to the toothpaste and the brush (finger brush or dog toothbrush), you can do a more thorough job. Lift your dog's lips to get all the way in the back of his mouth. Move the brush around in circles and gently brush away plaque and tartar that may have built up. Focus more on the exterior of the tooth, where the majority of the plaque and tartar has built up near the cheek. Be sure to also clean the gums with the toothbrush, but be gentle. When finished, be sure to give your pup a treat for being so good.
Signs Of Dental Issues:
- Scratching at the muzzle often could be a sign of an infection or tooth pain from an abscess.
- Bleeding or swollen gums can be a sign of gingivitis.
- Bad breath can be an early sign of periodontal disease.
- Tooth loss, or loose teeth can be a sign of an infection.
- Other signs - drooling, weight loss or loss of appetite, and excess tartar.
Cleaning your dog's teeth is an important job when caring for your dog. Be sure to also take your dog to the veterinarian for a dental checkup, especially if you notice any signs of dental issues to prevent further problems. Contact a professional like Brian E Hall for more details.