Brush those Teeth, it’s for more than a Great Smile! …. part 2 of 3

Welcome back to Daisy’s Rescue. Today’s lesson is part two of a three part article on Doggie Dental Hygiene. Usually we stay to a single post articles, but we have so much information to tell you we are dividing it up into three posts. Most people don’t realize that taking care of your dogs teeth does a great deal more than just keep them clean.  Good hygiene in your dogs mouth prevents gingivitis and periodontitis, two major causes of tooth loss in dogs and a bunch of other seemingly unrelated illnesses. Believe it or not, bad teeth and dental disease can cause heart, kidney, and liver disease. This also happens to be true in humans too.  It is generally recognized that 80 to 85% of dogs over 4 years old  have some degree of dental disease. So, it is no surprise that the number one medical condition that Veterinarian’s see is dental disease. Oddly enough, dental disease is probably the easiest condition that can be prevented.

Before I go any further, let me reiterate that I’m not a dentist, veterinarian, canine nutritionist or sales rep. for any products that I mention in my blogs. I’m just conveying to you what I have learned over my experiences, in hope, that it will help you take good care of your dog. My dogs are just as important to me as any other family members I have, and I personally do all I can to take the very best care of them.

Just a quick rehash of what we talked about in the last article. We talked about dental disease in dogs and what causes it. We started to talk about how to prevent it by talking about products that can help you take care of your dogs teeth.

Proden PlaqueOff Dental Care for Dogs is the powder added to food. Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Pet Water Additive and Natural Chemistry Dental Cleanse Oral Hygiene Treatment for Dogs, both water additives.

The next dental care product is what I’m going to call a hybrid of dental products. It’s a gel that you wipe onto the surface of your dogs teeth. It is spread throughout the dogs mouth through licking and thereby, cleans the teeth. There is no brushing required and like the water additives, they are intended to kill bacteria via an antiseptic. I use Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Pet Clean Teeth Gel, the ingredients: Purified water, grain alcohol, natural mint, glycerin, natural cleanser, aloe vera leaf juice, carbopol, chlorophyllin, green tea leaf extract. My dog, Duchess, had the worst breath ever until I started to using this product. Within a few days, her breath was clean smelling. I mean, no smell, where before she would make you turn away. She stopped rubbing her nose after meals and I noticed that I did not have to put her on antibiotics every couple of weeks to keep her gums from becoming overly inflamed. There are other gel products out there, but this is my recommendation having found it to work successfully.

Tropiclean Dental Cleaning GelTropiclean Dental Cleaning Gel

Daisy getting gel applied to her teeth.
Daisy getting gel applied to her teeth.

 

Having gel applied to her teeth.
Having gel applied to her teeth.

The next product is actually doggie toothpaste. Every veterinarian that I have consulted said the same thing: DO NOT USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE for your dog. Human toothpaste is not meant to be swallowed.  There are a wide variety of Canine/Doggie toothpastes available. The problem I have with many of these toothpastes is some of the ingredients. I like giving my dogs the best of everything and when I see stuff like, animal digest, sorbitol, dextrose, and the like. I just have a hard time thinking that I’m preventing gum disease by scrubbing my dogs teeth with sugar. With that said, I like to use a multi-dementional approach to teeth cleaning. I like to use a water additive and a gel in addition to a toothpaste. Back to the paste. I use Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste Dog Poultry Flavor,my dogs love the flavor and actually look forward to me brushing their teeth.

Toothpaste
Toothpaste

 

Applying tooth paste to the tooth brush.
Applying tooth paste to the tooth brush.
Tucker having his teeth brushed.
Tucker having his teeth brushed.

 

Make sure you get all the way to the back teeth
Make sure you get all the way to the back teeth
Front teeth get brushed too!
Front teeth get brushed too!

 

I brush my dog’s teeth a couple of different ways. I use a dog sized toothbrush and brush the paste onto the dog’s teeth just like a human. I also use a 4X4 gauze pad (the ones used in wound care), I wrap my finger in the gauze and I put the paste on my finger and I brush the dog’s teeth with my wrapped finger. This gives me more control of where I’m brushing and I can feel the teeth, so I know that they are getting brushed. It really isn’t hard to brush your dog’s teeth and it only takes a few minutes. I can brush all of my dogs teeth in about 5 minutes. There really isn’t any excuse not to brush. Even dogs that have just come into my home as new foster dog’s allow me to brush their teeth.

So far we have talked about a few ways to clean and keep your dogs teeth in good condition. To recap, There is a drinking water additive, food additive and gel that is applied to your dogs teeth (no brushing needed), and brushing your dogs teeth. Any of these methods are better than nothing with brushing being the gold standard.

Next week we will look at the final installment of Doggie Dental Hygene.

 

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