by Audrey Harvey, DVM
Veterinary dentists agree that the best way to prevent periodontal disease in your dog is to clean his teeth at least once daily. It can take a little while for him to become relaxed about having something in his mouth brushing against his teeth and gums.
Teeth Cleaning Products for Dogs
To do the best job of cleaning your dog’s teeth, you need the right products.
1. Dog toothpaste. Don’t use toothpaste meant for people when brushing your dog’s teeth. He can’t spit out the lather, and swallowing it may make him feel off color. Also, the minty taste may not appeal to him at all. Kissable toothpaste is vanilla flavored and dogs love it. Tea tree oil helps to prevent plaque build up, and kaolin gently polishes the tooth surface.
2. Dog toothbrush. Your dog’s teeth are best cleaned with a toothbrush with a small head. The Kissable brush is designed to clean all three surfaces of his teeth at the same time. Its soft bristles won’t harm his gums, and its unique compact head is easy to maneuver around his mouth, no matter how small.
The Kissable combo contains and all natural paste, as well as two toothbrushes for your dog. One is a soft brush with a small head. The other is a toothbrush that fits over your fingertip, so you can easily clean all corners of his mouth.
3. Instant Fresh Breath Foam. The sweet-tasting minty foam immediately adheres to teeth to gently clean, sanitize and loosen plaque build-up WITHOUT USING A TOOTHBRUSH! This is a great option to use when your dog resists brushing.
Teeth Cleaning Should Be Fun for your Dog
You need to make tooth brushing an enjoyable experience both for you and your dog. Otherwise it will be stressful, and you’ll have a battle on your hands every day. Make dental care part of his daily routine, just like meal time, play time and walk time.
Start off by putting some of your preferred pet toothpaste on your finger and letting your dog sniff it and even lick it off. The next step is to put some on your finger, and rub it on his front teeth and gums. Don’t rush things; some dogs can take a few days or weeks to get used to this new sensation.
At this point, you can introduce your dog to a toothbrush. Put some toothpaste on the brush and let him lick at it, so he becomes familiar with the texture of the brush. If all goes well, then use the brush to clean the teeth that are easily accessible, that is the front incisors and the upper canines.
When your dog is quite relaxed about having his teeth brushed, then you can start to extend your brushing to include all surfaces of all his teeth.
If your dog really doesn’t enjoy having his teeth cleaned, then just focus on those big back upper molars. They are most likely to accumulate plaque and tartar. Use some Dental Wipes to remove plaque accumulation and freshen their breath.
By spending a few minutes each day brushing your dog’s teeth, you’ll keep his mouth healthier and his breath fresher.