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Healthy smile

2 October 2020

Teething is an incredibly important subject that directly affects the quality of life and sometimes even the longevity of every animal. So I would like to share five tips with you so that your dog Ti-Loup and your cat Fluffy have a healthier smile.

1. Daily brushing

As with us, the basis of good oral care for your pet should be daily. Like you, I have a very busy schedule, but brushing our Pablo’s teeth has to be done every day, it’s important! It removes the biofilm and plaque created by bacteria in the mouth and helps prevent most oral diseases. This is the reason why we spend two to three minutes twice a day brushing our own teeth. Once you teach Ti-Loup or Fluffy to stay still for a few minutes so that you can clean their teeth, you will discover how quick and easy it is. Start at a young age and it will be even easier.

Here are 4 simple steps to teach Ti-Loup and Fluffy to tolerate the toothbrush. Once each of the steps is well tolerated, move on to the next step:

1-Start by touching the face, lips and muzzle or nose. Do this for 1 week;
2-Rub the teeth and gums with your fingers for 1 week. You can apply animal toothpaste to your finger to get Ti-Loup and Fluffy used to the flavor. If he doesn’t seem to like it, change the flavor;
3-Gently brush the front teeth, lifting the lips gently;
4-Slowly work towards the back teeth for several sessions. Concentrate on the outside of the teeth.

Have fun! Reward Ti-Loup and Fluffy with hugs and a crunchy treat after each session. It’s also important to make brushing a part of your daily routine. It will be easier for Ti-Loup, Fluffy … … and you!

2. Beyond brushing

Despite good intentions, some pet parents simply cannot brush their pet’s teeth. If you fall into this category, be honest with your veterinary team! Daily oral washes and rinses, chews with anti-plaque ingredients, and specialized dental diets are alternative options to consider. Are these substitutes as good as brushing? Of course not. But they’re infinitely better than any oral care, and some work almost as well.

3. Regular mouth check

During daily oral care, have Ti-Loup and Fluffy’s mouth checked regularly. Check to see if the gums are red or swollen, the teeth cracked or broken, or if there are any changes in color, growths or swelling. Any bleeding or discharge from the teeth or gums should be reported immediately to your veterinarian. While checking their teeth, take a closer look at their face or even their whole body if possible. Identifying subtle changes early can help prevent major illnesses later on.

4. Annual or bi-annual medical examination for older animals

During their annual or bi-annual checkup, your vet will carefully examine Ti-Loup and Fluffy’s mouths for any issues that are harder to notice at home. Oral health can have an impact on the whole body: an infection in the mouth could cause an infection in the heart, kidneys or elsewhere. A comprehensive annual exam with baseline blood work and full urinalysis for adult animals is what I recommend. The examination should be done every 6 to 12 months for older animals, as this can help in the early diagnosis of certain diseases. Remember, unfortunately animals get older much faster than we do.

5. Regular dental cleaning

Just like for you, nothing replaces the regular dental cleanings carried out by a medical team. However, cleaning the teeth of your Ti-Loup or your Fluffy should be done under general anesthesia, because the most important work takes place out of sight, under the gum tissue. This will produce a sparkling smile. Cleaning will remove plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach cavities under the gums and between the teeth. The uncleaned pathogenic bacteria would eventually cause severe recession of the gums, leading to mouth pain and tooth loss. Tooth abscesses have also been linked to heart valve infections and other serious medical conditions. The next time your vet recommends a dental cleaning, remember that the procedure is more than just cleaning the teeth; it is about preventing the risk of disease and chronic pain.

There are many reasons to keep Ti-Loup and Fluffy’s smile healthy. Good health begins in the mouth. Together, we can help Ti-Loup and Fluffy have a better and longer quality of life. Keep brushing her teeth and smiling!

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian, he remains your best resource for ensuring the health and well-being of your Ti-Loup and your Fluffy.