Tails of Seattle: A pets blog
Veterinary Q&A follow-up: More on cleaning a dog's teeth
Posted by Neena Pellegrini
Dr. Kevin Wilson, a veterinarian at Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital in Snohomish, is answering a follow-up question on dental care
See our previous Q&A on dental care here.
Question: What products do vets recommend for cleaning a dog's teeth? Toothbrush or finger brush? What if your dog just licks it all away before you can get in there and brush? Do some toothpaste products continue to work if brushing is incomplete because of a 'busy' dog?
Answer: Selection of home dental-care products depends on the pet.
Dogs that like to lick and chew the brush will do better with a soft-bristled long-handled toothbrush to protect your fingers. Cats, small dogs, and dogs that don't tend to bite may appreciate the smaller size and better control of a fingertip toothbrush.
There are dozens of toothpaste brands on the market. Most are basic abrasive cleaners with a flavoring for better acceptance by the pet. There is at least one toothpaste called C.E.T. that contains enzymes activated by saliva. These enzymes will continue to attack plaque for a while after brushing.
There are also some long-acting dental sealants that can be used in addition to brushing. Oravet is a sealant that binds to the tooth surface to protect against bacteria colonization for up to a week at a time.
A good plan would be to apply Oravet weekly and brush the other six days of the week.
Dr. Kevin Wilson
Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital in Snohomish
Wilson, an Oregon native, completed his veterinary degree at Oregon State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001, and joined Pilchuck's staff of small-animal practitioners in Snohomish shortly thereafter. His special interests include dentistry and soft-tissue surgery, with a focus on disease prevention and pain management.
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