4 Tips to Help Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

A white fluffy Golden Retriever dog smiles with his tongue hanging out of his clean mouth due to daily oral hygiene
Did you know that at least 2/3 of adult dogs have periodontitis? Periodontal disease, or inflammation and infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth, is one of the most common dental conditions afflicting cats as well. Part of caring for your beloved canine is caring for their dental health. We’ve compiled a list of a few tips to make your dog’s oral hygiene routine go as smoothly as ‘paws-sible’.

1. Start Early & Be Consistent

As soon as you finish reading this post, make a plan to establish a superb oral hygiene routine for your pet. If your pet is still young, it may be easier to incorporate into their training, but even if you didn’t start early, don’t worry! Over time, consistency and encouragement will help your pet become less fearful of you handling their mouth. Brushing their teeth every day is ideal, but if you and your furry friend can only handle a few days a week, that’s still better than not brushing them at all.

2. Use the Right Tools

Pets cannot use the same dental tools that humans do. The ingredients in our toothpastes can be toxic to your dog if swallowed. Fortunately, there are many dog-friendly dental products available. A children’s toothbrush will work fine or you could even wrap some gauze around your finger to clean their teeth, but a specialized, soft-bristled dog toothbrush with a long handle will deliver a better clean. As for toothpaste, we especially like this poultry-flavored enzymatic dog toothpaste. Moreover, consider supplementing your dog’s diet with a tasty dental chew, such as Checkups dental treats, to freshen their breath and break up plaque between brushings.

3. Help Them Feel Calm, Comfortable & Rewarded

When brushing your dog’s teeth, choose an environment that is familiar, calming, and comfortable with as few distractions as possible so they feel safe. Try to brush their teeth about the same time every day so they can expect it as part of their routine. After you finish cleaning their teeth, be sure to reward your pet so they associate oral hygiene with a positive experience. This could be with verbal praise, a healthy treat, playtime, a walk, or even some belly rubs and ear scratches.

4. Set a Good Example!

It will be easier to remember to take care of your dog’s oral hygiene if your own dental hygiene is a daily habit. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, floss every day, and come visit Jackson Smiles Family Dentistry every six months for a cleaning and checkup. We promise we don’t bite—contact us to schedule your teeth cleaning today.

We promise to make your visit as 'paws-itive' as 'paws-sible'!

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