Natural Dog Mouth Care
Keep your dog’s mouth healthy to prevent tartar buildup, bad breath, gum disease and tooth discoloration. Learn how to choose the best dog dental product, and steps to maintain your dog’s dental health at home.
Anatomy Of Dog Mouth
All dogs regardless of size have 42 teeth. Most of the teeth in your dog’s mouth are for tearing flesh and bone, with just a few teeth that crush food before they swallow it. Dogs’ teeth are not as sharp as cats’ teeth, but their teeth and jaws are much stronger. Their dental anatomy enables them to grab and kill prey that may be much larger than themselves.
The dog uses his smaller more fragile front teeth for grooming. He also uses them when scraping tissue from the surface of bones — in the same way he might engage in stripping the “fuzz” off of tennis balls. Some dogs do this so persistently that they wear down their incisors.
Adult dogs have six incisors (front teeth) on the top jaw and six on the bottom; two canine teeth (the “fangs”) on the top and two on the bottom; eight premolars on the top and eight on the bottom; and two molars on the top and three molars on the bottom.
Many of us might imagine that dogs chew their kibble in the same way we chew a potato chip. In fact, dog premolars and molars do not actually grind. Grinding requires that an animal’s jaws move sideways; like a cow or camel might grind its food — with extreme sideways jaw action. Dog jaws can’t move sideways! The premolars and molars are used to crush large chunks into smaller ones. As much as dogs can be said to chew, most of the chewing is provided by the premolars.The molars located at the far back of the mouth, where the dog has the most jaw strength, are mostly used for extreme crunching.
Dogs with the most dental related problems are often small breeds. Routine home maintenance can help keep your dog’s mouth healthy despite size, age or pedigree.
How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Brush your pup’s teeth regularly to maintain happy mouths!
Step 1. – If your dog is new to having his teeth brushed, start by touching his facial area and petting his head and ears. Slowly move towards the mouth, teeth and gums — do this gently. Immediately reward your dog for allowing you to touch his teeth. The goal is for teeth cleaning to be a positive experience for your pet.
Step 2. Choose a safe and quiet spot without distractions. A calm and relaxed dog will be more willing to cooperate.
Step 3. Take a damp paper towel or cloth and wipe the teeth to remove debris.
Step 4. Use a finger brush or toothbrush made for dogs and apply mouth cleanser or dental treatment and gently brush the front and bottom teeth in circular motions. Repeat this step several times for extra clean teeth.
Step 5. Carefully brush the tongue and gums.
Step 6. Reward your dog with play, exercise, treats, and plenty of praise. Repeat daily for best results.
Dog Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue surrounding the teeth and can take just a few stages to develop.
How it starts and progresses
Periodontal disease begins as a bacterial film called plaque that attaches to the teeth. When the bacteria die they can be calcified by calcium in saliva, forming a hard, rough substance called tartar. If left untreated plaque can lead to gingivitis, inflammation, and bleeding of the tooth and gums. If the plaque and tartar buildup continues, infection can form around the root of the tooth and may need to be extracted by your veterinarian. In the final stages of periodontal disease, the tissues surrounding the tooth are destroyed, and will eventually lead to tooth loss.
Start early and begin good dental hygiene for your pet. Regular brushing and home maintenance will help keep your dog’s mouth healthy and free of odor and build-up.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Just as we regularly visit the dentist for cleanings, your dog can benefit from the same routine care. On average, small breeds need professional cleanings yearly and large dogs every two years. Prevent painful mouths and schedule your dog’s dental cleaning with your veterinarian.
Diet & Toys
It is best to get rid of plaque while it is still soft, once it hardens your dog will require professional cleaning. Chewing raw bones and rubber toys can help remove plaque and debris naturally. One of the best ways to insure optimum oral health is to feed your dog a grain free, raw, or homemade meat-based diet. Raw meat and bones assists in keeping the mouth environment healthy. Because of the mildly abrasive texture and ability to flex around the teeth, raw meat and bones can help remove dental plaque.
The Organic Difference In Pet Products
Many consumers assume that pet products go through rigorous testing for safety and efficacy. After all, why would anyone market a product that wasn’t safe? The EPA did not begin reviewing pet product safety until 1996. The EPA states that “We cannot make our own assessment because unlike the regulations directing the FDA’s approval of human products, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act does not require pet products to undergo field trials prior to approval.” There are no safety laws for pet grooming and care products, and companies can put just about anything they want in your dog’s dental care treatment! It’s important to review all ingredients in your pet care products before purchase.
Choosing The Best Dental Product For Your Dog
Choose dental care products that are made with organic ingredients and free of synthetic chemicals and pesticides. Natural doesn’t mean ‘organic’. Products that are labeled organic must meet USDA testing for safety and quality. In the pet industry, companies with non organic products are not required to test their ingredients for safety. Many grooming and care products with harsh chemicals may be harming your pet, and might be the cause of your dog’s reoccurring skin, mouth, and ear conditions.
Keep your dog’s mouth clean to prevent tartar and tooth loss. Regular home maintenance and professional cleanings will keep your dog’s mouth healthy and kissably fresh.
Organic Dental Care Products by aTobiko
American Veterinary Dental College – http://www.avdc.org/carefordogs.html
Ceasar’s Way – https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/dental-care/7-tips-for-doggie-dental-care
Love That Pet – https://www.lovethatpet.com/dogs/health/teeth-cleaning/
Dog Food Advisor – http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/dry-dog-food-cleaner-teeth/