Pet Dental Cleanings: What You Need to Know

Does your dog or cat need a dental cleaning? Signs to look for and why pet oral health is important.

Pets typically require a dental cleaning when they start showing signs of dental disease. Some common signs of dental disease in pets include bad breath, yellow or brown teeth, red or bleeding gums, difficulty eating, drooling, and loose teeth.

It’s important to note that dental disease can progress quickly and cause a lot of pain and discomfort for your pet, so it’s recommended to have regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian. A veterinarian can help determine if your pet needs a dental cleaning and advise you on the appropriate timing and frequency of cleanings based on your pet’s individual needs.

In general, most dogs and cats require dental cleanings every 1-2 years, but this can vary depending on factors such as age, breed, diet, and overall dental health.

There are several signs that may indicate that your pet needs a dental cleaning:

  1. Bad breath: Persistent bad breath is often a sign of dental disease in pets.
  2. Yellow or brown teeth: If your pet’s teeth have visible discoloration, this could be a sign of tartar buildup.
  3. Difficulty eating: If your pet is having difficulty eating or is dropping food, this could indicate dental pain.
  4. Swollen or bleeding gums: Inflamed or bleeding gums can be a sign of gingivitis or periodontal disease.
  5. Changes in behavior: If your pet is suddenly avoiding their food or toys, this could indicate dental pain.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take your pet to a veterinarian for an exam.

What takes place during a dental cleaning?

Dental cleanings involve removing tartar and plaque buildup from a pet’s teeth and gums to improve oral hygiene and prevent dental disease. The cleaning process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Examination: Your pet’s veterinarian will examine their mouth to evaluate the extent of dental disease and identify any potential problems.
  2. Anesthesia: To ensure the pet remains still and comfortable during the cleaning, and for the safety of the veterinary staff, dental cleanings are performed under general anesthesia.anesthesia is administered.
  3. Scaling: Using a special tool, the veterinarian will carefully scrape away any tartar and plaque buildup on the teeth and gums. This is important to remove the buildup that can cause bad breath and gum disease.
  4. Polishing: Once the teeth are scaled, they are polished to smooth out any rough spots that could promote plaque buildup.
  5. Fluoride treatment: A fluoride treatment is applied to the teeth to help protect them from future decay and disease.
  6. Post-cleaning examination: After the procedure, the veterinarian will examine the pet’s mouth again to ensure that everything looks healthy and that the pet is recovering properly from the anesthesia.
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