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Preventing Dental Disease

By February 14, 2013 Dentistry


Dental homecare is an essential aspect in maintaining the best preventative healthcare for your pet. Studies have shown that over 85% of dogs and cats over 1 year of age have some degree of periodontal disease. This is HUGE considering that dental disease affects not only the mouth, but several other organs in the body as well. Preventing or slowing dental disease with dental homecare is a great way to fight periodontal disease in your pet.

As veterinary professionals we realise that every client’s lifestyle is different, so it is not possible to design a homecare program that will suit everyone’s lifestyle. Look over the selection below to decide what would fit your lifestyle. If you find that something is not working out for you or your pet, please feel free to contact your veterinary team who will help to determine a suitable solution.


Brushing your pet’s teeth daily is an excellent way to decrease the amount of plaque and tartar that builds up on the teeth. Ideally, this should be done after each meal, but once per day will often suffice. If you are interested in learning how to brush your pet’s teeth please contact your veterinary team who will be able to provide you with the tools and knowledge of how to safely conduct this on your pet. It is important that only pet toothpaste be used, as the fluoride in human formulas may cause stomach upset in your pet.

CET Chews

These chews work with the dog’s mechanical action to reduce plaque and loosen tartar. Chlorhexidine and other compounds are infused into the chews. These compounds reduce the number of bacteria and bind with the calcium in the saliva reducing the amount available to become plaque. These chews can be used daily to promote dental hygiene or used on days when brushing is not an option.

MediCal Medi-Chews

Medi-Chews are a lower calorie dental product that can be given to your pet daily as a treat. These chews work by mechanical and sequestering action. The texture, shape and structure of the treat promote chewing, which gently rubs the tartar and plaque off the teeth. The chews also contain a compound that binds with salivary calcium making it unavailable for the formation of tartar to occur. On top of these benefits, there is also some antibacterial control from the green tea extract, which will help decrease plaque formation.

Dental Diets

Dental diets work by mechanically loosening and removing plaque/tartar that has formed on the teeth. The larger size of the kibble encourages your pet to chew through each kibble. Hill’s T/D dental diet offers kibbles made using a fibre matrix technology which holds the kibble together longer allowing it to clean the tooth right up to the tip of the gumline. Another option would be MediCal Dental diet, which incorporates polyphosphates in the kibble coating. This compound binds with the calcium in the saliva, thus helping to reduce plaque formation.

Biotene Gels

Biotene gels contain naturally occurring enzymes that kill harmful bacteria while maintaining the beneficial bacteria. This will reduce the amount of harmful bacteria that could cause plaque formation. The gel is simply applied by rubbing it on your pet’s gums. This can be used daily or on days when brushing is not an option.

Healthy Mouth

Healthy Mouth is a water additive that is clinically proven to control the plaque leading to inflammation and gum disease without chemical agents. It has received the Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Acceptance – meaning it has undergone research studies and is recommended by leading veterinary dentists. This product is best introduced after a dental scaling (when the mouth is clean) to prevent the plaque from coming back, however it can be used in any animal.

Routine Dental Cleanings

On top of regular homecare, providing your pet with professional dental cleaning is an excellent way to remove the plaque/tartar that has accumulated in hard to reach spots. During these dental cleanings the dental technician will remove any plaque/tartar from both above and below the gumline. It is often hard reach below the gumline at home when brushing. At this time the Dr will be able to fully assess your pet’s dental health and chart any problems/abnormalities. If it is needed we can remove any problem teeth safely and pain free during this time. The dental technician will then polish the teeth, which helps prevent plaque from reforming. Finally, they will receive a rinse solution, which has antibacterial properties.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call. We would be glad to discuss your options with you!

Thickson Road Pet Hospital

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