Why Taking Care Of Your Dog’s Teeth Is Important?

Dental care

For Your Furry Friend

By Linda Hamilton

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Why brushing your dog's teeth is so important?

Brushing and taking care of your dog’s teeth is an important part of his overall health and well-being.

Dog’s teeth should be washed daily. By brushing your dog’s teeth daily you can prevent dental problems, such as plaque build-up, bad breath, and gum disease. You can also reduce the risk of other health problems such as heart and kidney diseases and infections.

When your dog’s teeth brushing becomes a daily habit, you’ll also save money since dental procedures can be costly.

Overall dogs with healthy teeth and gums are more happy and energetic.


Supplies for dental care

Here are the supplies you need for brushing your dog’s teeth:

  • A dog toothbrush   Use a toothbrush meant for dogs because the bristles are softer and therefore gentle for their gums and teeth. Also, the toothbrushes are angled in a way that you are able to reach all the surfaces of his teeth. A finger toothbrush is a convenient alternative to a traditional toothbrush. It’s easier to move in your dog’s mouth and when using it you know if you are adding too much pressure while brushing. Use this type of toothbrush only for smaller dogs since bigger dogs have bigger mouths and you might not be able to reach every tooth with it.
  • A dog toothpaste  Only use toothpaste meant for dogs since toothpaste meant for humans includes ingredients harmful to dogs. Usually, dog toothpaste is flavored and it helps with making the experience more enjoyable for your furry friend.
  • Towel  Having a towel or a blanket nearby can be a great idea since you can cover your clothes from getting dirty and also it can help your dog to calm down. 
  • Treats for rewarding When you reward your dog while brushing his teeth the experience becomes positive for him and therefore makes the process easier in the future.

The washing process

Make him used to it

It is good to make teeth brushing a pleasant experience for your dog.

Start by introducing the toothbrush to him by letting him sniff it. If he shows interest in it you can praise him.

Next step is to make him used to your hand over his nose and your thumb holding his mouth open.

After your dog is used to this, you can slowly lift his upper lip so that the teeth come into sight. Repeat this step often even if you aren’t going to brush his teeth, so he gets used to having your hand in his mouth.

Remember to be calm and try to always make the teeth-washing process enjoyable for your dog. Always praise him. 

If your dog stays calm you can start brushing.

Start brushing

Teeth brushing can be a weird experience for your dog at first thus calm your dog down by giving him treats and by praising him. 


You can also give him treats in different stages of the treatment. This encourages him to stay calm in the future too. But later on, you should reduce the number of treats you give.


If your dog is anxious or aggressive during the treatment, pet him slowly and gently for several minutes before you try again.


The most important thing in taking care of your dog’s teeth is to brush next to the gums and from the outer surfaces of all teeth. 


Start from the front teeth and then move to the back. 


Move the toothbrush in a circular motion instead of going from side to side.

Be patient

When you brush and take care of your dog’s teeth it might sometimes feel frustrating if your dog isn’t staying calm. Be aware that your dog can sense your frustration and therefore becomes more uneasy. 


So be patient and take it slow. Realize that brushing your dog’s teeth takes time and practice.

I promise you that with time and patience, the brushing routine becomes easier.


What can happen if you don't take care of your dog’s teeth?

If you don’t brush your dog’s teeth regularly, there are several health risks can occur. 

For example, your dog might develop plaque and tartar buildup that can lead to bad breath. Bad breath is a common sign of dental problems in dogs.

Also, more severe diseases and health problems can occur which are:

  1. Tooth decay
  2. Tooth abscesses
  3. Loose teeth
  4. Gum disease
  5. Infections (severe infections can spread and cause worse health conditions)
  6. Oral tumors
  7. Difficulty with eating
  8. Periodontal disease

Seek veterinary care if your dog’s teeth are in bad condition or if you suspect that your dog might have one of the diseases listed above.

Other ways to keep the teeth healthy and clean

Besides brushing, here are additional ways to keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy:

  1. Give him dental chews and toys. These can help with cleaning your dog’s teeth while also taking care of his gums. 
  2. Provide a healthy diet. Make sure his diet includes vitamins and minerals since they can help with making your dog’s teeth healthy and strong. Try to avoid feeding him foods that include a lot of sugar or starch since these can lead to plaque or tartar build-up.
  3. Vet visits. Taking your dog to regular checkups at the vet helps with identifying problems early on and therefore can be dealt with before they become serious. You can ask your vet for more tips or treatments on how to keep your dog’s teeth healthy.
  4. Professional cleanings. Sometimes your dog’s teeth can have stubborn plaque build-up that regular brushing alone won’t remove. Professional dental cleanings are performed by veterinarians. In the process, the vet removes the stubborn plaque and tartar with special tools. The vet will also check the teeth and gums for signs of disease.

Be aware that the things listed above don’t eliminate the need for daily teeth brushing.

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