Your pet’s teeth should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian for any early signs of a dental disease and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.
85 percent of pets have been reported to have periodontal disease by 3 years of age and the condition will worsen over time if preventive measures are not taken.
Early detection and treatment are critical because advanced periodontal disease can cause health problems and pain for your pet.
The dental appointment begins with a physical and a oral exam of your pet’s mouth by our veterinarian here at CityU VMC. Thereafter dental x-rays, professional dental cleaning to remove dental plaque and tarter by scaling and polishing (similar to the process used on your own teeth during your regular dental cleanings) performed under general anaesthesia may be recommended. This allows early detection and treatment of dental disease in your pet.
It is important to note that “non-anesthetic” teeth cleaning is not comparable to a full dental under anesthesia. We do not recommend dental cleanings without anesthesia because they do not allow for proper cleaning, x-ray imaging or inspection below the gum line, where most dental disease occurs. Dental procedures without proper anesthesia may result in unnecessary stress, pain or injury to your pet.
General anesthesia will always carry some risks, your veterinarian will make recommendations based on your pet’s overall health and the health of your pet’s teeth and provide you with options to consider.
Dental home-care is also essential at home. Regular brushing of your pet’s teeth is the single most effective thing to do to keep your pet’s teeth healthy in between professional dental cleanings. Studies have shown that by brushing your pet’s teeth three times a week was adequate to maintain healthy teeth and gums however, daily brushing was needed to control existing gingivitis.
Toothpaste and Brushing
Most dogs accept teeth brushing, but cats can be a bit more resistant requiring some patience and training. Never use human toothpaste for a pet as it contains foaming agents which are not meant to be swallowed. Animal toothpastes come in special flavors (chicken, seafood, and malt) and all are safe to be swallowed by the pet. Finger brushes are available and are smaller for puppies and kittens.