Canine and Feline dental health advice from Helen Woodward Animal Center

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Maintaining your pets dental hygiene is in the best interest of your furry friend. Joining Good Morning San Diego to explain how we can keep our pets mouths happy and healthy is Dr. Angela Gaeto of the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

Dental cleaning:

Dental cleaning is the deep teeth cleaning provided to pets to maintain good oral hygiene. Veterinary dental cleaning involves general anesthesia. This is often an owners number one concern. The level of anesthetic risk that pertains to your pet should be considered and discussed with your veterinarian. General anesthesia is necessary for a quality dental exam and cleaning because it is in the best interest of your pet. The vast majority of pets would not be cooperative for examination of each tooth from all angles, examination of the gum tissue, and evaluation of tooth stability. Pets also need all surfaces of the tooth cleaned including underneath the gum line. A dental cleaning includes polishing after removal of the plaque and tartar build up which is also why anesthesia is necessary.
Avoiding dental cleaning can lead to serious medical problems such as abscessed teeth, severe bone loss in the jaw, and systemic bacterial infections.

At home dental care:

There are many options for owners for at home dental care and also many different tools. At home dental care can range from feeding dental health food and treats, to brushing your pets teeth. The more cleaning and prevention of plaque and tartar build up that’s done between professional dental cleanings, the less frequently these cleanings are necessary. Pets that are susceptible to long term dental disease such as small breed dogs or dogs with dentition abnormalities can have dental food for their diet which will decrease the amount of long term plaque and tartar build up. Pets can also have treats that will promote dental health by breaking down tartar. Owners can also brush their pet’s teeth at home using pet friendly toothpaste in flavors such as poultry, malt, and seafood. Adopting good dental health habits will promote the long-term health of your pet.

It is best to choose products endorsed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council because there is some scientific proof of their efficacy.

Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Health, In Studio Guests