Should I Brush My Pet’s Teeth?

Golden dog and ginger cat snuggling outside in the grass.

If you’ve ever wondered if you should brush your pet’s teeth, know that this is a vital part of pet care. It may not always be fun, but it’s necessary for your pet’s oral health. We have a few tips to make it a little easier on everyone, though.

Establish a Routine

One of the most important parts of brushing your pet’s teeth is establishing a routine. This helps them come to expect it over time. Start by finding a time when your pet is calm and relaxed. A pet that is more energetic at night should have their teeth brushed in the morning when they’re more comfortable and mellow. Brush your pet’s teeth around the same time, too, so it becomes a regular activity. You should brush your pet’s teeth at least three times a week.

Use the Right Toothbrush & Toothpaste

When brushing your pet’s teeth, make sure you’re using a toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for pets. You’ll use these tools in the same way you do for yourself, but the toothbrush and toothpaste need to be pet ones. Using toothpaste for humans could upset your pet’s stomach, while a toothbrush designed for humans could be too rough or too soft on your pet’s teeth. You can find them online or at your local pet store.

Get Your Pet Comfortable with the Toothbrush & Toothpaste

Before you start brushing your pet’s teeth for the first time, make sure they’re comfortable with the toothbrush and toothpaste. Test their comfort with having you near their mouth by lightly rubbing your finger along their teeth and gums to simulate the brushing process. Once they’re comfortable with this, spread a bit of your pet’s toothpaste on your finger and let them sniff and lick it to get used to the smell and taste. All of this will prepare your pet for the tooth brushing process and help make them more comfortable.

Brush Correctly

It’s important that you brush your pet’s teeth correctly. Brush in small circles, just like you do for your own teeth, to massage their teeth and gum line. When you first start out, brush only a few teeth at a time. Over time, work your way up to brushing your pet’s entire mouth for two minutes total. Plaque builds up along the back teeth and the outsides of the canine teeth, so don’t miss those areas.

Reward Your Pet

Finally, end the tooth brushing experience by rewarding your pet. Give them some extra love or playtime or even a treat. It’s important that they look forward to the tooth brushing process or see it as something that they’ll be rewarded for in the end.

While it’s important to take care of your pet’s teeth, be sure to care for yours as well! Call us today to make an appointment for a check-up and cleaning!

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Reen Chung, DDS

Reen Chung, DDS