Although not always an easy task, your pet should have their teeth brushed daily, just like you, to help ensure proper dental hygiene. Some pets are not always amenable to this, but if you start early in life, they can become accustomed to it. Remember, some brushing is better than no brushing!
Start by getting your pet used to you handling their mouth. Use just your finger, and lift their lips up gently, and begin rubbing the sides of their teeth. Make this a positive experience by offering treats and praise, and keeping it short to begin with. Once your pet is comfortable with this, start using either a finger brush or a infant tooth brush to gentle circle the outside surfaces of the teeth. Make sure to pull the lips back to reach the teeth further back in the mouth. Because of the way dogs and cats bite and chew, there is not a lot of build-up on the inner surfaces of the teeth, and brushing them is not recommended. Once your pet is used to a tooth brush, add a pet toothpaste to your routine. DO NOT use human toothpastes, they contain fluoride and other substances that are not safe for your pets to consume, unlike you, your pets to not rinse and spit after they are done brushing!
Brushing teeth routinely, using safe dental treats and dental diets, as recommended by your veterinarian, can help combat dental disease and keep your pet’s mouth healthy for many years to come.