Dental care is important to your dog's overall health, and brushing and scaling her teeth help promote good dental hygiene. Tartar deposits build up quickly, particularly on the back upper molars and the canines, leading to gum disease. Puppies can be trained to accept dental care if the process is done frequently. Keep the sessions upbeat and short.
There are toothbrushes designed especially for dogs, and gauze wrapped around your finger also works. Because a dog cannot spit, she will swallow the toothpaste, so please be sure to use a formulation made especially for dogs. Tooth scalers can be obtained from a canine products catalog, where you can also buy the toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Have your dog's teeth checked at least once a year by the veterinarian. It may sometimes be necessary for the vet to clean your dog's teeth more thoroughly, particularly if your dog is older. Your veterinarian will sedate your dog for this procedure. Advances in canine anesthesia make this procedure much safer now than in the past.
Neglected teeth may lead to periodontal disease. The bacteria can enter the bloodstream and are associated with other diseases of the heart, liver, and kidneys. Watch for red or bleeding gums. Bad breath is another major indication that the dog needs to visit the vet for treatment.
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