Looking after pets teeth at home

By: Joerg Thamm

Dental care is important for our pets as it reduces tartar and plaque build-up, gingivitis and dental disease. By taking care of their teeth at home we reduce the need of our pets to have frequent dental scale and polishes.

What is plaque, tarter and biofilm?

A biofilm is the thin layer of bacteria that forms on the teeth during the day. This turns into plaque as the bacteria layer thickens. Over time the plaque becomes mineralised and becomes tartar. Biofilms and plaque can be removed with home dental care but plaque must be removed by performing a dental scale and polish.

Tooth brushing: The mechanical action associated with brushing the tooth is the most important aspect of bacteria and plaque reduction. There are special toothbrushes designed for pets to make brushing easier. Often these toothbrushes come with special pet toothpastes which taste good, making it a more pleasant experience for our pets.
Human toothpastes are toxic to our pets and should be avoided.

Water additives: These are the animal version of mouthwash. They keep our pets’ breath fresh and reduces the formation of a biofilm. These are put into their drinking water – care should be taken to use as directed to avoid toxicities.

Dental diets and treats: These are formulated in a specific way so when your pet bites down onto the treat/biscuit the tooth surfaces gets brushed, as with a toothbrush. Dental diets also contain nutrients that aid in plaque reduction.

Leave a Comment