Getting your dog's teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis is just as important as going to the dentist yourself. Although dental cleanings can help get rid of your pet's foul "dog breath," it plays an even bigger role in keeping your furry friend's teeth and gums healthy. Because tooth and gum infections can cause systemic issues over time, regular dog dental cleanings can also help extend your dog's life.
It's also better to prevent issues in your dog's mouth, such as periodontal disease, rather than treat them after they develop. Having your pet's teeth cleaned at least once a year may help keep a variety of health issues at bay. If the fear of having your dog treated with anesthesia during the cleaning process keeps you from taking him to a dentist like Brian E Hall, you can request anesthesia-free procedures to help ease your mind.
Here are some reasons why taking your dog to the dentist should be on your once-a-year list:
1. Brushing your dog's teeth at home isn't enough by itself to prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay. Even if you brush your dog's chompers at least once a day, you could still be missing large areas if your pet is wiggling around during the process. Pet dentists have ways of keeping your dog from squirming during cleanings, allowing them to give more thorough cleanings than you can at home.
It's generally recommended that you take your dog to the dentist for the first time when he is age six or seven, but smaller dog breeds may need to get a professional cleaning a few years earlier than that.
2. If left unchecked and untreated, periodontal disease can cause a variety of health problems for your dog, just like it can for humans. Over time, bacteria from decaying teeth can infect the pet's gums and surrounding bones, eventually attacking major organs.
Having your dog's teeth professionally cleaned will help eliminate some or most of the plaque that can eventually get under gums and cause the infection. If you notice that your pet's gums are swollen or inflamed, periodontal disease may already be underway and he'll need immediate care to stop the process.
3. Not only can decaying teeth and infected gums lead to systemic illness, they can cause your dog to experience chronic pain as well. Also, if plaque and tarter are allowed to build up, your pet's teeth may eventually loosen and fall out, making it hard for him to eat healthy, nutritious foods.