If you're considering professional teeth cleaning for your pup, our Waxhaw vets explain how it's done and why it's a critical element in your dog's healthcare routine.
Why do pets need professional teeth cleanings?
Much like humans, a cat's and dog's oral hygiene is pivotal in determining its overall health and vitality.
Regrettably, many dogs and cats, including the younger ones, face dental challenges, with periodontal disease being a frequent issue.
Such dental problems can gravely impact their health, potentially leading to a reduced life expectancy and the unfortunate loss of teeth and bone.
Why should I take my pet in for professional teeth cleaning?
While it's critically important to maintain an at-home oral care routine (you may even want to supplement tooth brushing with dental treats or chews) to avoid plaque and tartar buildup, it's best to visit the vet on a regular basis for a professional cleaning. This will help keep your pet's mouth clean and healthy.
Without this annual check-up and cleaning, your pet's teeth can get covered in plaque, which leads to bad breath and gingivitis. Left unchecked, this develops into periodontal disease that can result in tooth loss and bone loss in its most severe forms.
Think about it: without a healthy set of teeth, your cat or dog might face challenges while eating. Furthermore, the implications of periodontal disease aren't just limited to oral health. Bacteria from the mouth can access the bloodstream and potentially affect other vital organs, increasing the risk of heart disease.
What can I expect during a professional teeth cleaning?
We suggest bringing your furry companion in for a yearly dental examination. More frequent visits might be necessary if they have a history of dental concerns.
Just as with your own dental visits, the vet will assess your pet's oral wellness, meticulously checking their mouth for indications of dental troubles, such as:
- Extra teeth or baby teeth that have been retained
- Discolored teeth
- Loose or broken teeth
- Plaque or tartar buildup
- Swelling, bleeding, or pain in or around the mouth
- Bad breath
This would also be a good time to let your vet know if you've noticed any symptoms such as your pet dropping food from her mouth, excessive drooling, abnormal chewing, or reduced appetite (as this may indicate that your pet is feeling pain in their teeth when attempting to chew).
If your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia, the vet will clean and polish their teeth and gum line. Each tooth will be probed and radiographed. A fluoride treatment will then be applied, and a dental sealant will be used to fight plaque. The vet will develop and review a custom treatment plan with you if advanced periodontal disease is discovered.
How much does a professional dental cleaning cost for a dog?
The price of this treatment can fluctuate based on several elements. These include any existing dental conditions or injuries your dog and cat might have, its weight, especially for larger dogs, which often need more anesthesia and medications, the age of your pet, and the necessity for post-cleaning medications like antibiotics to ward off infections.
How can I keep my dog's teeth clean?
Pet parents have an important role to play in helping their pets win the battle against dental disease. Here are our tips for maintaining optimal oral health for your cat or dog:
Include daily brushing as part of your pet's oral health routine. A finger brush can be used to eliminate any debris or plaque from their teeth.
Use a plaque prevention product (your vet may have trustworthy recommendations) that you can put on your pet's teeth and gums to keep plaque from building up.
Provide dental-friendly snacks, chews, or kibble. These not only keep your pet entertained but also combat plaque and tartar formation.
Remember, maintaining oral health is a cornerstone of your pet's overall well-being. Don't delay; schedule their annual dental check-up now. Your furry friend will be grateful!
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.