We wrote about the importance of annual dental check-ups and professional cleanings in our blog last year. An annual professional dental cleaning is truly the only way to keep pets’ teeth healthy. Here’s a quick refresher:

-Bacteria that form on your pet’s teeth can create heart disease and joint problems. Diabetic patients have more (and worse) dental disease.
-Professional cleanings prevent and treat gum and tooth infection. We aim to keep your pet’s teeth, gums and jawbones healthy.
-Bonus: fresh pet breath

What can you do between cleanings at Firehouse? Brush your cat’s or dog’s chompers!

It’s challenging and we know that. So, we’ve pulled together some tips to make it a little easier.

-Make it a part of your routine: brush your pet’s teeth at least 3-4 times per week and ideally every day

-Once your pet is used to regular brushing, spend 30 seconds on each side of the mouth to remove harmful bacteria and limit the development of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (inflammation of the other tissues surrounding the tooth).

-Get the proper tools to get the job done right. Use a pet-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. There are many options, including brushes with handles and finger-brushes. See which one your pet likes best. Don’t use human toothpaste, which can upset your pet’s stomach if swallowed and some may contain dangerous ingredients like xylitol (an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs) or high levels of sodium. Use pet-specific toothpastes that are intended to be swallowed and are flavored in ways that your pet will like, making the whole process easier. Chicken flavored toothpaste, anyone?

-Introduce brushing to your puppy or kitten. The sooner the better! Once your pet is exposed to having their teeth brushed in a safe and comfortable fashion, they’ll be ready for good oral hygiene forever. Plus, this will also help facilitate thorough oral examinations every time they visit the veterinarian.

-How to begin: gently rub your finger or a soft cloth over a few of their teeth, taking care to avoid stressing your pet or causing discomfort. As they become more used to that practice, you can add toothpaste (pet-specific) into the mix. Once they are comfortable with toothpaste and brushing on the outer surfaces of the teeth, you can then graduate to a brush.

-We have the supplies you need: grab some dental chews and toothpaste next time you visited us!

Proper pet dental care maintains healthy teeth AND a healthy body. Connect with us to schedule your pet’s next dental cleaning. We’re focused on dental health all year round – not just in February Dental Awareness Month!

EVERY MONTH is Dental Awareness Month at Firehouse (not just February) since clean teeth are linked to better overall health for both cats and dogs.

Show your pet some LOVE by giving their teeth professionally examined once a year to see if they need a cleaning.

Want more info? We posted 6 short videos here.

Click here to watch Dr. Mo’s Feb 2019 interview on KVUE

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