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5 Easy Ways To Keep Your Pet's Teeth And Gums Healthy

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Pets can experience a range of dental issues that, if left unchecked, can lead to discomfort, pain and even more severe health problems. From bad breath to gum disease, these issues can impact not only your pet's oral health but also their overall quality of life.

These simple yet effective dental care practices can be easily incorporated into your routine. By investing a little time and effort into your pet's oral care, you're making a significant commitment to their happiness, comfort and longevity.

1. Regular Brushing

While it might seem like a challenging task, incorporating regular teeth brushing into your pet's routine can provide a number of benefits, not only for their oral health but for their overall well-being.


Brushing your pet's teeth helps to:

  • prevent diseases such as periodontal disease, gingivitis, and plaque buildup.

  • remove bacteria, food particles, and debris that contribute to foul-smelling breath.

  • stimulate the gums and promote blood circulation, which contributes to healthier gum tissue.

  • prevent systemic health issues, including heart, liver and kidney diseases.

  • save you money on expensive dental treatments or surgeries down the road.

  • make veterinary check-ups less stressful.

  • contribute to your pet's comfort, quality of life and overall happiness.


1. Dental Chews and Toys

Chewing is a natural behaviour for pets and is more than just a way to keep them entertained.

  • Mechanical Cleaning. Chewing on appropriate items helps mechanically clean the teeth by scraping away food particles, plaque and tartar buildup. This helps prevent the accumulation of harmful bacteria that can lead to dental diseases.

  • Gum Stimulation. Chewing stimulates the gums, promoting blood circulation and maintaining healthy gum tissue. Healthy gums are essential for supporting teeth and preventing periodontal issues.

  • Saliva Production. Chewing triggers the production of saliva, which has natural antibacterial properties. Saliva helps wash away food particles and neutralise acids, contributing to a healthier oral environment.

  • Reduced Plaque Formation. Regular chewing can help disrupt the formation of plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that adheres to teeth. By preventing plaque buildup, you reduce the risk of dental diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.

  • Stronger Teeth. Chewing on appropriate items can help strengthen your pet's jaw muscles and promote healthier teeth. Strong teeth are less likely to suffer from fractures or other dental issues.

  • Tartar Control. Chewing on dental-specific items can help control tartar buildup, reducing the need for frequent professional cleanings and ensuring fresher breath.

When selecting dental chews and toys for your pet, it's important to consider their size, chewing habits and any dietary restrictions they may have. Always opt for products that are specifically designed for pets and have been approved by veterinarians. Regularly inspect and replace chews and toys that show signs of wear to ensure your pet's safety.


1. Appropriate Diet and Nutrition

While a complete and balanced diet is essential, there are specific foods that can promote better oral health for your pets:


  • Dental-Formulated Foods. Some pet foods are specially formulated to support dental health. These foods often have a unique texture that helps mechanically clean teeth as pets chew.


Royal Canin Dental Care


Bacteria naturally settles on your pet’s teeth after meals, which can cause a buildup of plaque and tartar, eventually leading to gum disease. Royal Canin kibbles have an advanced texture that cleans your pet’s teeth while they’re chewing. They surround each tooth as your dog or cat bites down, so that every mouthful rubs the surface with a brushing effect. These nutritious kibbles are also enhanced with a binding agent that bonds to the calcium in your pet’s mouth and helps to prevent tartar forming.


  • Raw Fruits and Vegetables. Crunchy fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apples and celery can act as natural toothbrushes for pets. Chewing on these foods can help scrape away plaque and promote healthy gums.

  • Dental Treats. There are dental treats designed to assist in reducing plaque and tartar buildup. These treats often have a texture that helps clean teeth and may contain ingredients like enzymes that break down plaque.

  • Water-Rich Foods. Including water-rich foods such as cucumber or watermelon in your pet's diet can contribute to hydration, which is important for maintaining healthy saliva production.

When incorporating new foods into your pet's diet, it's important to do so gradually and in consultation with our vets. While certain foods can contribute to better oral health, it's essential to maintain a balanced diet and avoid overfeeding, as excessive calories can lead to weight gain and potential health issues.


1. Water Additives

Water additives are typically added to your pet's drinking water and are formulated to combat bacteria in your pet's mouth, promoting fresher breath, healthier gums and cleaner teeth. But how exactly do water additives work to achieve these benefits?

  • Targeting Bacterial Growth. Water additives contain active ingredients that target and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in your pet's mouth. These bacteria are responsible for plaque formation, which can lead to gum disease and other dental issues.

  • Disruption of Biofilm. Bacteria in the mouth often form biofilms, which are sticky, protective layers that adhere to teeth and gums. These biofilms make it easier for bacteria to thrive and cause dental problems.

  • Reduction of Plaque and Tartar. Water additives can help prevent the accumulation of plaque by hindering bacterial growth. This, in turn, reduces the formation of tartar, which can lead to more serious dental issues if left untreated.

  • Promotion of Saliva. Some water additives stimulate saliva production. Saliva contains natural enzymes and antibacterial properties that help cleanse the mouth by rinsing away food particles and bacteria.

  • Neutralising Odours. Water additives often contain ingredients that help neutralise odours associated with bad breath.


1. Regular Dental Checks (COHAT)

Regular dental treatments from a veterinarian are crucial to preventing and addressing dental issues promptly. Our COHAT is a comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment, and it is the standard of care for dental services at Goodna Veterinary Surgery. Without this level of care, a significant amount of disease can be missed, leaving your pet in pain.


A COHAT includes:

  • Thorough exam and discussion of history

  • Organ function blood test

  • Pre-anaesthetic sedative

  • Intravenous fluid support

  • Full mouth radiographs

  • Thorough oral cavity examination

  • Veterinarian formulated plan of action

  • Extractions if necessary

  • A 3-day follow-up appointment


To book a COHAT please call our friendly customer care team today on (07) 3288 1822.


By making thoughtful changes at home, you can contribute to your pet’s oral health and overall well-being. A combination of proper diet, regular dental care and professional veterinary guidance will help to ensure that your pet enjoys a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

 

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