February is the month to celebrate those we love, including our pets. Also known as National Pet Dental Health Month, this is a perfect time of year to evaluate the dental health of each member of your family, including your cats and dogs.
Does My Pet Really Need Good Dental Care?
Like people, the overall health of dogs and cats depends on good dental care. This includes regular brushing to remove plaque, which is the yellow, sticky film that coats the surfaces of teeth. When it is not removed, the plaque hardens and builds up into a substance known as tartar. This condition leads to tooth decay and serious potential problems if left untreated.
One of those problems is periodontal disease, which is as serious a threat for your pets’ dental health as it is for your own. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, has been linked to a wide range of dental and physical health problems. This condition starts with a build up of tartar that, when not removed, causes the gum tissue around teeth to swell, bleed easily, and become red instead of a healthy pink color. Over time, infection can occur in the gumline, causing pain and tooth loss.
Basic Tips for Good Dental Care
A strong routine of good dental care can help both people and pets avoid periodontal disease. Many dental care tips that apply to people can also be incorporated into the regular care of a beloved pet.
- A Healthy Diet – start with whole food that naturally removes plaque from your pet’s teeth.
- Hydrate With Water – fresh water throughout the day naturally cleans the surfaces of teeth.
- A Brushing Routine – while it’s not required every day for pets, brushing teeth needs to be a regular habit of at least two or three times a week.
- Chewing Plaque Away – pet owners might chew sugarless gum to help clean teeth and avoid snacking; pets can use chew toys specially made to clean teeth without causing harm.
Last – but certainly not least – is a visit to a health care professional. For people, this visit would be to see the dentists in Lakewood, CO at Advanced Family Dental. For pets, however, this would be a visit to the vet!
Dental Care Questions Answered at the Vet
It might be overwhelming to think about brushing your pet’s teeth, and that’s okay. Start with a visit to the vet, where he or she can get a baseline of your pet’s dental health. The vet will provide a comprehensive oral exam for your pet, including recommendations about your pet’s teeth and gums. This is a great time to get personal advice about how best to brush your pet’s teeth, what food to buy, and the availability of other helpful dental care products for your pet.
Don’t forget how important dental care is for every person in your family! Call 303-985-8000 to schedule an appointment with the Lakewood, Colorado dentists and staff at Advanced Family Dental.