Veterinary Dental Care for the Health of Your Pet

Pet Dental Care Photo

There are three critical steps to your pet’s dental care: oral exams, dental cleanings, and a home dental care regime. Veterinary dental care begins at the puppy and kitten life stage, evaluating your young pet for problems with baby teeth, missing or extra teeth, swellings, and oral development. Later in life, we look for developmental anomalies, plaque and tartar, periodontal disease, and other abnormalities.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Dental Care Guidelines recommend regular oral examinations and dental cleanings, under general anesthesia, for all adult dogs and cats. The AAHA recommends these procedures at least annually starting at 1 year of age for cats and small-breed dogs, and at 2 years of age for large-breed dogs. The guidelines further recommend the following:

  • Pre-anesthetic exam
  • Anesthesia monitoring
  • Dental radiographs
  • Scaling and polishing
  • Fluoride or sealants

Read a complete explanation of these Dental Care Guidelines at the AAHA HealthyPet website.

Pet dental care doesn’t end at the veterinarian’s office. Just like with humans, a home dental care program must be introduced gently and practiced regularly for optimum results. For new pet owners, this may be a daunting notion, but clean teeth and gums protect your pet against infection and illness. Home dental care may add up to 5 years to your pet’s life, which is a small investment for a sizable reward. We will be happy to advise and instruct you in proper technique for dental care at your next visit.

Watch this instructive video by the Cornell Feline Health Center on brushing your cat’s teeth. Enjoy this slideshow from WebMD that explains how to brush your dog’s teeth.