Daily brushing is one of the most important things you can do for your pet’s health, but very few dog owners include it in their daily routine.
No one wants to take on another daily task, but brushing is essential to keeping your best friend’s mouth and body healthy and pain-free for as long as possible.
75% of dogs over three years old suffer from some degree of periodontal disease.
If a gum infection is not treated, it can spread to the jaw bone and ligaments that hold the teeth. In the long term, this causes severe pain, tooth loss, and even damage to the heart, liver, and kidneys.
It all starts with the buildup of plaque on the dog’s teeth, this plaque leads to tartar formation and eventually to inflammation and sensitivity of the gums called gingivitis.
If left unchecked, gingivitis can quickly develop into periodontal disease.
This process does not take long, by the age of three, two-thirds of dogs already show signs of periodontal disease and, without proper dental care, it continues to develop.
Many dog owners don’t start brushing their puppies’ teeth until they notice bad breath or tartar buildup. Waiting for a problem before making dental care a priority causes three problems.
Brushing alone will not restore dental health if significant damage has already occurred.
Most people brush their teeth twice a day, but regular brushing is essential.
Although dogs don’t eat the same cavity-causing foods we do, they can build up a lot of plaque if we don’t take care of them regularly.
Starting to brush your teeth only when they have been covered with plaque and the gums are sore is not enough to reverse the damage, with a dog the same thing happens.
Visit to the veterinarian
If you notice that your dog has dental problems, do not try to start brushing him with a toothbrush, start by visiting your veterinarian for a dental exam and a thorough professional cleaning to restore your dog’s oral health.
After a brief recovery period, you can start brushing your teeth to prolong the time between cleanings.
The longer the bacteria stay in the dog’s mouth, the greater the risk that they will enter the bloodstream and cause systemic problems.
Bacteria make up 80% of tartar in dogs.
If this bacteria enters the bloodstream, it can spread throughout the body and damage the heart, liver, and lungs.
Studies have even found a link between dental infections and heart attacks and strokes in dogs.
Trying to brush your teeth in the presence of periodontal disease can be painful for the dog and lead to negative associations.
Trying to brush your dog’s teeth when it hurts can cause your dog to associate the toothbrush with pain, when the mouth is healthy, brushing can be very comfortable.
It’s also possible for bacteria to enter your dog’s body through inflammation and irritation of the gums.
As in the case of children, it is best to start brushing the dog’s teeth daily while he still has teeth to molt.
When those baby teeth are gone, the puppy will learn to tolerate brushing, as well as bathing, nail trimming, and grooming.
If you’re adopting an adult dog, consult your veterinarian to see if his teeth are healthy enough to start brushing or if he needs to be cleaned by a professional first.
When starting the brushing protocol, make sure you have the best materials for the job.
The bristles of human toothbrushes are often too hard for dogs’ sensitive gums.
Toothbrushes for dogs are usually of two types: handle and finger.
The choice of toothpaste
More important than the toothbrush is to choose an effective and quality toothpaste for your dog.
Most toothpastes for humans contain fluoride and some contain xylitol, both toxic to dogs, it is very important to choose a specific product for dogs.
This is especially important for restless puppies, as they can only tolerate toothbrushes for a short period of time.
While the toothpaste is in the mouth, the dog can use the properties of the toothpaste to remove accumulated residue and freshen his breath.
We understand that daily brushing is a big commitment and is not always an easy task.
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