Best To Brush
- Start when a pet is young (or adult age after a thorough dental cleaning). Slowly introduce the pet to veterinary dental toothpastes and soft-bristled brushes.
- Brushes should be the appropriate size and shape for a pet’s mouth. There are even brushes made for cats (C.E.T. Cat Toothbrush). If a pet owner doesn’t know what size to use, their veterinarian is the best source of advice.
- Make sure the paste used is veterinarian recommended. Human products can actually cause more harm than good. Good examples of appropriate toothpastes are the C.E.T. Enzymatic and Tartar Control Toothpastes for Dogs and Cats.
- Toothpastes come in multiple flavors, usually beef, chicken, seafood or malt so that they are tasty to your pet and help him look forward to brushing.
- Start by letting a pet taste the toothpaste, then put the toothpaste on a finger or a washcloth and run it along the gum line. Finally, use toothpaste on the brush along the gum line.
- Be sure to push the toothpaste into the bristles of the brush to keep the pet from just eating or licking it. The brush needs to be angled under the gums because this is where the bacteria that cause dental disease like to hide.
- Using small circles, brush from the back to the front of the mouth. Start with outer surfaces of the teeth (facing the cheek) and move to inner surfaces (facing the tongue). The outer surfaces of the teeth are where the most plaque and tartar build up, so reaching them is critical.
- The whole process should only take about 30 seconds.