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Dental Care For Dogs: How To Keep Your Dog's Teeth Clean

Dental Care For Dogs: How To Keep Your Dog's Teeth Clean

Oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease are as detrimental to dogs as they are to people. At-home dental hygiene and professional dental care should be a part of your dog's preventive healthcare. Our Los Angeles vets explain how to clean your dog's teeth and prevent oral health issues from popping up in the first place.

Do dogs really need dental care?

Your dog's oral health is an essential element of their overall health and wellbeing. Our canine companions can begin showing signs of periodontal disease (gum disease) by the age of three, and this can lead to serious negative consequences for their long-term health. 

Studies in humans have shown a clear link between periodontal disease and heart disease, and it appears that this is true for our animal companions as well.

The link between heart disease and periodontal disease in dogs is thought to be caused by bacteria entering the bloodstream from the mouth, damaging heart function, and causing issues with other organs. These health issues are in addition to the more obvious problem of pain caused by eroded gums, and missing or damaged teeth.

A good oral health care routine at home paired with dental treats and professional dental cleanings can go a long way towards preventing or controlling the buildup of plaque and tartar and preventing tooth decay. 

Not taking your dog to have their teeth cleaned and checked could put your pup at risk of developing gingivitis, periodontal disease, bad breath, and more severe consequences like pain, tooth decay, and tooth loss.

Are there risks involved with professional veterinary dental care?

All procedures involving anesthesia come with an element of risk for your pet, which is why our veterinarians assess all pets to ensure that they are healthy enough to handle anesthesia. We also conduct additional diagnostics if required to ensure that a dental exam while anesthetized is safe for your four-legged friend.

What happens during my dog's dental cleaning appointment?

To help protect your dog from tooth decay and periodontal disease, our Los Angeles vets recommend annual veterinary dental checkups and cleanings. Your pet may need more frequent vet visits if they are suffering from more severe or recurring dental problems.

When you bring your dog to Ambassador Dog & Cat Hospital for a dental checkup, our vets will perform a full oral examination for your pooch and check for signs of dental issues, such as:

  • Extra or retained baby teeth
  • Bleeding in or around the mouth
  • Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
  • Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Loose or
  • Broken teeth
  • Bad breath

If you detect symptoms of periodontal disease in your pet, such as reduced appetite (which can be a sign of oral pain), abnormal chewing, drooling, dropping food from the mouth, bad breath, or other symptoms, be sure to contact your vet immediately to schedule a dental appointment for your pet. Oral health issues can become severe if left untreated, cause your pet a great deal of pain and discomfort, and even affect their overall longevity.

Once your dog is safely sedated, your vet performs a full tooth-by-tooth examination, complete with charting - just like a dentist does for their human patients.

While your dog is comfortably under anesthesia, we will thoroughly clean and polish their teeth both above and below the gum line. We probe and X-Ray the teeth, and then apply fluoride treatment and dental sealant to help protect against future decay and damage in addition to preventing plaque buildup.

If your pooch is suffering from advanced periodontal disease, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan to help restore your dog's mouth to a pain-free and healthy state.

How long does it take for a dog to recover from a dental appointment?

All dogs are different but you can expect that your pet should begin to recover from the anesthetic within a few hours, although in some cases it can take up to 24-48 hours to fully recover. While they rest and recover, your dog may seem drowsy and have a reduced appetite.

How much does dog teeth cleaning cost?

The cost of dog dental cleaning varies widely due to a number of factors including the size of your dog, any dental conditions that may be affecting them, and a number of other factors. Contact your vet to get an accurate estimate for having your dog's teeth cleaned. 

Investing in preventive dental care for your pet can help avoid having to choose more invasive and expensive procedures and surgeries later on. Regular care will allow your vet to take proactive steps to help avoid advanced tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to pain, tooth loss, and jaw deterioration.

Should I brush my dog's teeth?

You might be wondering how to clean your dog's mouth; read on for some easy tips to help to keep your dog's mouth healthy:

  • Use a finger brush from your vet or a child’s toothbrush to brush your pet’s teeth daily to remove any plaque or debris.
  • Use a plaque prevention product (your vet can recommend some), which you can apply to your pet’s teeth and gums. These products act as a barrier to prevent plaque buildup.
  • Offer your pup treats such as dental chews or food designed to help prevent plaque buildup and tartar.

Dental care is an important part of your pet's overall health. Be sure to book your pet's annual dental appointment today; after all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Time for your dog's dental cleaning and examination? Contact our Los Angeles vets to book a dental appointment for your pooch.

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Ambassador Dog & Cat Hospital is accepting new patients! Our veterinary team is passionate about the health of pets in our Los Angeles community. Contact us today to book your first appointment.

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