At-Home Oral Care

Let’s start 2021 off on the right foot (or paw?)! February and March are Parkdale Animal Hospital’s Dental Months, and we’d love to take this opportunity to discuss different at-home dental care products that can help slow the progression of plaque and tartar on the teeth.

Just like with us humans, good oral hygiene is essential to your pet’s overall health. Dental disease is a progressive condition. Stage one is characterized by gum inflammation and swelling, plaque
accumulation and bad breath. This stage can be reversed, or slowed, with proper dental care at home. Dental care can include feeding your pet a diet clinically proven to reduce plaque and tartar, teeth brushing, dental chews, and even water additives!

Tooth Brushing

Like us, the best way to combat plaque and tartar in your pet’s mouth is by brushing their teeth! In a perfect world this would happen once or twice daily, but at minimum three times a week. It is best practice to teach your pet while they’re young, but as they say – you can always teach an old dog (or cat) new tricks! The training process may take a little longer, but it is well worth it. In order for this to be a success, tooth brushing must be made a positive experience for both you and your pet. Start off slow, and only move on once your pet becomes comfortable. Do not use human toothpastes, as they are not meant to be swallowed and can have harmful ingredients such as Xylitol. How do you brush your pet’s teeth, you ask? See here for more tips and a video!

Dental Diets

Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d Dry Food and Royal Canin Dental Dry Food are both diets clinically proven to reduce plaque, stain and tartar buildup. The kibble contains a special matrix of fibers which act like a toothbrush to scrub the tooth to remove bacteria. The large kibble size cleans the teeth to the gum line to promote healthy gums and teeth.  Hill’s t/d and Royal Canin Dental diets are two of the only therapeutic dry food that is accepted nutrition for the reduction in buildup of plaque & tartar by Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). Not to mention, it’s lower calorie and coated in animal fat, which pets find super tasty (mmmm…)

Additives and Rinses

Additives, rinses, and wipes are easy ways to help kill bacteria in your pet’s mouth, as well as helping to reduce plaque and tartar. These products are typically tasteless, are safe for both dogs and cats, and are always kept in stock! The active ingredients in Vetradent™ products bind to magnesium, calcium and iron found within dental biofilm. This effectively removes the bacteria’s food source and weakens the tartar. The MAXI/GUARD® Oral Cleansing Gel has a zinc ascorbate and sulfur amino acid formulation which also helps reduce tartar build up, and can help with gingivitis and halitosis (bad breath).

Treats and Chews

Various treats and chews help keep plaque and tartar at bay, but they do not work at the same level of teeth brushing or a dental diet! C.E.T Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Dogs work with the dog’s natural chewing action to loosen tartar and provide clinically proven plaque control. We also keep a supply of the irresistible Feline Greenies Dental Treats on hand, which are products accepted by the VOHC to help combat plaque and tartar. Remember to look at the calorie count on the packaging!

When’s the best time to start oral care at home? We recommend starting with a clean slate after a nice teeth clean and polish, but the second best time is to start now! Do you have any questions regarding any product discussed here? Contact us for more information!