Do you make it a point to schedule six-month dental cleanings? If you’re anything like me, that biannual appointment is like clockwork. It’s not just because my dentist is too busy to fit me in during last minute evening appointments like I prefer either.
It’s because I realize if I don’t have my teeth professionally cleaned, I may not be alerted to cavities that can grow large enough to affect the sensitive pulp of my tooth. It’s also because I know hard-to-reach areas can accumulate hardened plaque, or tartar, that can harbor bacteria and cause gum inflammation. If I were to skip this important time with my dentist and her hygienist, irritated gums could turn into gingivitis.
Let’s pretend my busy schedule at Country Club Animal Hospital prevented me from visiting my dentist at six months and I forgot to reschedule. Now pretend over a year of time passes since my teeth have been squeaky clean; I could be at risk for more than gingivitis. Gum disease or tooth decay could have a chance to rear their ugly heads.
Did you know our pet’s teeth and gums are equally vulnerable to the same dental issues as ours? When we’re not given the chance to orally examine your pet’s teeth, their mouth could be harboring bacteria unbeknownst to us all. Once tartar is given the chance to form, the bacteria it contains continues to spread. That bad breath you thought might have been from drinks from the toilet bowl is more likely to be the smell of tartar.
Fortunately, you can prevent dental issues in your pet’s teeth the same as you do your own. While brushing may not be a realistic daily goal – we understand brushing pets’ teeth is easier said than done – oral chews, tartar control diets, regular examinations and professional cleanings can go a long way. Extend the life of your pet’s oral health and commit to yearly cleanings. This will give us the time we need to remove tartar, bacteria, and polish those canines to a sparkling shine. Your pet’s health, comfort, and hygiene will thank you for it.
– Luis Augsten, DVM