While February is National Pet Dental Health Month, your pet’s dental health should be a priority all year long. Like people, pets can develop dental disease, and preventative care is essential for maintaining their oral health. At Minnesota Veterinary Hospital, we are here to care for your pet’s dental health needs and help you establish healthy dental habits. 

Here is what you need to know about your pet’s dental health and how you can take care of their teeth all year long. 

The Importance of Preventative Care

While many pet owners think of dental care as a way to improve their pet’s breath, there are many other reasons preventative care is important. Dental disease is a serious problem in our pets. Not only can it cause your pet discomfort, but it can also have severe ramifications on their long-term health. 

Unfortunately, the problem with poor dental health goes much deeper than what you can see on the surface. Tartar and bacteria can spread below your pet’s gum line, causing gum irritation and infection. Over time, this can spread to the bone and compromise the structures supporting your pet’s teeth. As a result, your pet may experience pain and tooth loss. 

Additionally, the harmful bacteria in your pet’s mouth can spread to your pet’s bloodstream. This can cause significant damage to your pet’s vital organs and compromise their long-term health. 

Start Brushing! 

The first step in creating healthy dental habits is to start brushing your pet’s teeth. Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly will help remove harmful plaque and prevent dental disease. While your pet may find this to be a strange activity, getting your pet used to brushing at an early age can help make the task easier. 

The more frequently you can brush your pet’s teeth, the better. However, you should try to brush at least a few times a week. Dental chews can also be helpful for removing hard-to-reach plaque. If you have questions about how to brush your pet’s teeth or which products are best for your pet, please let us know. 

Schedule a Professional Dental Cleaning 

While at-home care is critical, you will also need to schedule professional dental cleanings. How often your pet will need a professional cleaning can vary. Our veterinarians can perform a general assessment of your pet’s mouth during their annual wellness appointment and make recommendations based on your pet’s unique needs. 

Our cleanings are performed under general anesthesia to ensure your pet’s comfort and allow our veterinary team to provide the highest standard of care. 

During the cleaning process, special instruments known as scalers are used to remove tartar above and below the gum line. A fluoride coating can also be used to strengthen the enamel, reduce future plaque formation, and decrease teeth sensitivity. 

Final Thoughts

We hope this article will help you understand the importance of taking care of your pet’s dental health all year long. 
For more information about your pet’s dental care and the dental services we offer, please check out our dentistry page. If you have additional questions or would like to schedule your next appointment, give us a call at 651-484-3331. 

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