How Often Do Pets Need Professional Dental Cleanings?

As humans we brush our teeth regularly, and it’s almost certain that the last time you did was only a few hours ago. However, can you remember the last time you brushed your pet’s teeth?

Why is Brushing Our Pets’ Teeth Important?

Our pets can develop gum disease or experience tooth decay if their teeth are not cleaned on a regular basis. This is caused by the sugars in their food reacting with the bacteria in their mouth to cause plaque, which is a sticky coating that forms on the teeth.

Periodontal disease occurs when plaque in the mouth spreads to the gums, and the bacteria found in plaque start to cause gum irritation. It may seem surprising, but 1 in 3 dogs will develop periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years old, which without treatment may lead to painful symptoms including tooth loss. Additionally, if advanced gum disease develops there is a proven link to serious illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. It is crucial for any gum disease to be treated promptly and efficiently.

What is a Professional Cleaning?

Brushing your pets’ teeth at home is one of the best ways to protect your pet from dental problems. Remember that human toothpaste is toxic to animals, so ensure that only veterinary toothpaste is used! Nevertheless, even the most adept pet owners can only perform a certain standard of cleaning, and this is where a professional cleaning can help.

When your vet carries out a professional cleaning, your pet will nearly always be administered a general anesthetic. This may seem dramatic for what seems like a minor procedure, but by nature animals are not conditioned to dental treatments. For the safety of your vet, nobody wants a bitten or even lost finger! For maximum comfort and less stress for your pet, a general anesthetic is best.

Your veterinary dentist will begin treatment using specialist tools to remove plaque and any tartar (also known as calculus) from the teeth. Tartar is hardened plaque and can only be successfully removed with special tools by a skilled practitioner. Once your vet is happy that the teeth are healthy, and all plaque/tartar has been removed, your pet will be given time to recover.

How Often Should My Pet Have a Professional Cleaning?

Generally, it is recommended that a pet should have an annual professional dental cleaning. Although, no two animals are the same and if your pet is having any ongoing dental health issues, your vet may recommend a more frequent schedule to ensure optimal oral health. If you are unsure what is right for your pet, consult with your veterinarian.

For more information on pet professional dental cleanings, contact Animal Hospital of Salinas at our office in Salinas, California. You can call (831) 346-0600 today to schedule an appointment. After office hours, you can call (831) 899-4838 or (831) 373-7374.

admin none 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM Closed Closed veterinarian # # #