|Brushing Up On Preventative Maintenance |
By Karla Addington-Smith
Preventative maintenance is an important aspect of good health. Whether canine or feline, this principal applies to your best friend! The foods you feed, vaccinations and steps taken against heartworm disease and flea and tick infestation are all part of preventative maintenance in health care. Yet, 85% of all dogs and cats over the age of four are affected by periodontal disease. This condition is progressive, and left unchecked, can become irreversible. Untreated periodontal disease causes pain, bad breath, receding and infected gums and tooth loss. Bacteria from oral infection enters the blood stream and becomes systemic in nature. Pets can then suffer from heart, kidney or liver failure. But, before you run for the tube of Crest and your old toothbrush, read on...
Preventing periodontal disease takes many forms. Passive prevention, such as feeding dry food, crunchy treats and providing rawhide products and chew toys will help your pet naturally remove plaque and tarter.
The latest technology provides an easy way to provide optimum oral care to your fur kids. PlaqClnz Gel is an amazing new product that has come from years of research in the human oral care industry. The alcohol and taste free formula destroys the bacteria that causes bad breath. Just apply a pea-size drop to your finger and rub along your pet's teeth at the gumline to freshen breath and start to remove the years of tarter, plaque and calculus build-up. There is now an easy alternative to brushing and scaling with PlaqClnz.
Routine brushing of teeth, is also an effective way to prevent gum disease and tooth loss in your dog or cat. It's not only more convenient, but healthier too, to use dental hygiene products designed especially for pets. Most dogs and cats find the taste of pet toothpastes more palatable and far less offensive than human toothpastes. Better taste means increased usage and better results. Dogs and cats can't rinse and spit so be sure your pet toothpaste does NOT contain fluoride which will irritate your pet's stomach. Pet toothpaste contains a higher level of abrasives to clean more quickly and effectively. A specially designed pet toothbrush, or finger tip brush, is a better fit to your pet's mouth and will make the process more enjoyable for both of you.
Like any preventative steps, starting early in your pet's life will help him to accept the procedure. It may take a few brushing sessions for you and your furry friend to get comfortable with the process, but with these tips you'll be an expert in no time!
First, be sure to choose an appropriate time and place and stick with it throughout the introduction period. Be sure to give lots of praise during the process and perhaps a special treat afterwards. Begin slowly, you may lift the lips the first few times to get him used to being handled around the mouth. Gradually, you begin to touch the teeth with your fingers. Once you are able to touch your pet's teeth, you can introduce the toothpaste. Let him smell and lick the paste on his own. You may than apply a small amount of toothpaste to a gauze wrapped finger or finger brush and rub his teeth. Once you've gotten this far, it is time to introduce the toothbrush.
It is not necessary to fully open your pet's mouth and brush the inside of the teeth at first. You can keep the mouth closed, lifting the lips to expose the teeth as the plague and tarter forms on the outside of the teeth along the gum line. Place the brush at 45 degree angle toward the gum-line and using small circular motions begin brushing. Pay special attention to the back teeth. Once the routine is established it is important to brush every day as tarter develops from plague in as little as 24 to 48 hours. If you are using the Triple Pet 3-Head Brush, you can simply place the brush over the teeth and gently move the brush back and forth in small motions.
In addition to routine tooth brushing, your pet will benefit from regular visual inspection of the mouth and gums. A healthy mouth will have firm, pink gums. Teeth will be white with little or no discoloration. Red or bleeding gums, two sets of teeth, uneven wear or broken teeth, tarter and or receding gum lines, and a foul odor emanating from the mouth, should all be reported to your veterinarian. Good oral hygiene is good preventative maintenance! An important part of caring for your best friend!