We all know how important oral health is. We are bombarded every day with toothy-grinned models for Colgate toothpaste on TV, images of a smiling patient tilted back in a dental chair in the paper, & voicemails letting us know we’re due for our 6-month dental check-up. If that’s not enough, now you’ve got us discussing the major health benefits of oral care at your veterinary office!
A seemingly daunting task & words spoken at our practice every day…
How do I brush my pet’s teeth?
Here at Hillcrest, we recognize both the importance of oral health care as well as an owner’s struggle to provide this care. Below is a gentle & effective way of introducing tooth brushing to your pet in a way that’s easy to manage for the both of you!
What you will need:
- Pet toothpaste (made without Fluoride)
- Gauze squares, cotton swab
- Finger toothbrush & /or a regular soft bristled toothbrush
- Around the same time each day for 1 week (so it becomes an enjoyable routine), place a small amount of pet toothpaste on your finger and let your pet lick it off
- This will help develop a habit where your pet will seek out the tasty treat & attention
- Place a small amount of pet toothpaste on your finger and gently slide your finger onto & against Fluffy’s gums and outsides of their teeth with a circular motion
- Start slow & do a little more each time
- Now, use a cotton swab or wrap a gauze square around an index finger & place a small amount of pet toothpaste on it
- Rub their gums & the outsides of their teeth with a circular motion for ~ 30 seconds to be effective & keep it pleasant for the pet
**If this is well tolerated by your pet, you may continue to use a cotton swab or gauze square and not go any further**
- Place a small amount of pet toothpaste on a finger toothbrush or regular soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush against Fluffy’s gums & the outsides of their teeth for ~30 seconds
Imagine what our teeth would be like if we only brushed once weekly or monthly – SO be sure to repeat this each day to help keep your pet’s mouth not only smelling fresh but healthier!
Be patient and consistent – building a lifetime of habits takes time!
Written by Sarah Tremblay, RVT