February is known as the month of love not just for the favorite humans in our lives but also for our pets! This month is National Pet Dental Health Month. Dentist in Newberg Dr. Jennifer McLeod and her team at Newberg Family Dental agree that all members of the family deserve the best dental health possible, including our pets.
Evaluate Your Pet’s Dental Health
Just like pet owners, it’s critical to figure out what kind of dental health you have before starting any kind of treatment. And just like humans, you can get a good idea about your pet’s dental health from a visual examination.
When your pet is relaxed and getting some cuddles from you, pull back the lips of your pet’s mouth and look at his or her teeth and gums. If the teeth are more of a brown color or the gum tissue is red or swollen, your pet could have periodontal disease.
Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is caused by a build-up of plaque and bacteria. When not removed, this build-up turns into tartar and causes gum tissue to separate from teeth. Pockets between teeth and gums form, into which more plaque and bacteria can gather. Eventually, teeth loosen and fall out.
To avoid the progression of periodontal disease in your pet, make regular visual examinations of your pet’s dental health as well as scheduled appointments with the vet.
Chewing for Good Dental Health
Similar to humans, a pet’s diet is very important to good dental health. Be sure to freshen up your pet’s water dish a few times a day so that he or she is drinking enough to stay hydrated and rinse the surfaces of teeth. Provide food and chew toys that are recommended by the vet to naturally clean teeth without harming them. And don’t forget snacks or treats! These should not be from the table, but specially formulated to clean your pet’s teeth.
Clean Your Pet’s Teeth
This is especially important if you have a dog or cat, and it can be tough to accomplish. Here are some steps to help:
- Take your pet to the vet for a thorough teeth cleaning and exam.
- Talk with your vet about recommended oral health tools made for animals in general and your pet specifically.
- Have your vet teach you how best to brush your pet’s teeth at home between visits.
- Make it a consistent habit to clean teeth, whether once a day or a couple of times a week.
These steps can help owners take good care of their pets’ dental health. Don’t forget that dental health is as important for you as it is for the special pets in your life! Call Newberg Family Dental at (503) 538-7717 to schedule your appointment!