Cleaning Your Dog’s Teeth
Do you really need to?
Dog’s mouths/teeth usually are cleaner than our human mouth… it’s not wrong to say that perhaps they have one of the most cleanest mouths in the animal kingdom!
This does not really mean that their teeth does not need cleaning. It’s myth that nature has made dog’s mouth clean naturally. The fact is, that a dog’s mouth contains different kinds of bacteria than humans. A small example is of the bacteria Porphyromonas, known for causing periodontal disease, a serious gum infection that leads to the loosening and, eventually, detachment of teeth. This bacteria has different species too and it’s P. gingivalis is found in humans, but P. gulae found in dogs.
It’s always a good idea to start brushing your dog since he was a puppy, but don’t worry if you still haven’t started. Better late than never!
We really think that dogs need their mouth cleaned atleast 2-3 times per week. Daily is very good 🙂
Here is how you can clean your dog’s teeth –
The toothbrush – You can buy any brush you like. A human brush would do just fine. Though there is a lot of complex information on the web, and doggy tooth brushes “specially” made for the dog, but really… your human brush is just good enough.
The toothpaste – For the toothpaste, you cannot use human pastes. Human toothpastes contain Flouride, and it can potentially be poisonous for your dog. You can find a doggy toothpaste in any pet-store, and you get a good variety of flavors. Chose the one your dog might like 😉
Which portion to brush – The best way is, to brush only the outer portion of the teeth. The reason here is, that 96% of the bacteria is on the outer portion.. and besides, the dog’s tongue is going to do the rest of the job for the inner side of the teeth. Do not brush the gums.
The right strokes – Do not aggressively scrub the dog’s teeth, that is not required. You can brush gently with an horizontal angle on the dog’s jaw.
If your dog is not used to it, he might make it a little difficult at first. It’s ok even if you don’t finish the entire mouth the first few times. But eventually the dog will get used to it.
It’s also a good practice to give the dog “chew bones” and chewing toys. These things can greatly benefit your dog’s jaw. Remember, dog’s naturally are fond of chewing, and giving him a chewing toy will make his gums/teeth healthier, and stronger!
If you feel that there is something wrong with the dog’s mouth/teeth like –
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen gums
- Miscolored teeth
- Yellowish tartar (that cannot be removed by brushing)
- Bad breath
..then you might consider visiting a vet.