Teeth cleanning

Discussion in 'Dog Grooming' started by vega, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. yoyopoodle Well-Known Member

    Even if a dog's teeth stay clean without brushing, it's a very good idea to make sure they will tolerate their mouth being handled and their teeth examined.

    The shape of a dog's head, their genetics, their diet, age, general health etc all factor into how clean their teeth will be if left alone. Breeds with tight skin on their faces have dirtier teeth in general - I think it has to do with the amount of saliva that constantly pools around the teeth, preventing/slowing plaque. Toy breeds also tend to have bad teeth, maybe because the teeth are crammed closer together.

    The research I've heard is that most pet dogs have some level of periodontal disease by the age of 3 years.

    I occasionally give my Poodle raw bones, and I scale his teeth when needed. I've been really lucky with him, and only need to pick off a little plaque every 4-5 months. I brush his teeth every once in a while, but he really never needs it - it's more for training purposes.

    For tiny dogs you may want to get dental wipes - they are kind of like baby wipes, but the fibers are more abrasive and they are moistened with something that's good for teeth.
    There is also a liquid that you put into their drinking water that is supposed to help. I've tried it, but didn't have problems before or after, so I'm not sure if it worked, lol.

    Regardless, be careful that any toothpaste you use doesn't have floride - apparently there are some dog ones on the market now! Essentially just beef-flavored human toothpaste :(
    freedomdreams and Jean Cote like this.

  2. moweeks New Member

    Brushing or Not - Keep an Eye on their Teeth

    Hi All,

    Different dogs have different needs in this area as with all others.

    My Husky mix, Luka, had to have 17 teeth removed at age 12. She is now 14. She shared a kennel and feeder with my Siberian Husky, Cyber who is 11 now. For years, they both ate the same dry kibble, with a weekly batch of wet kibble and canned mixed together. They both got regular hard biscuits, beef bones, and in the last five or six years, the dental chews on a regular basis. However, Luka developed severe dental issues while Cyber did not. I have never brushed their teeth.

    Luka's teeth have continued to deteriorate. She is now on a soft diet with chewy, but not hard, treat items. She does like to gum rawhide rolls, especially after Buddy the power chewer has softened them up for her. She detests my messing around with her mouth. I have discussed further dental work with the vet, but her age and declining health make going under the anesthesia much riskier. It is a tail chaser as the declining dental issues lead to further declining health issues. I have made the decision not to put her through the procedure. At this point, I will do all I can to ensure she has a comfortable and happy life for the time I have left with her.

    I have brushed Buddy’s teeth once or twice, but not on a regular basis. I do have the vet look at his teeth and I look at them weekly and run my finger over them. This is in preparation for eventually brushing them regularly if it is needed. I think I will try using the brush that slips over a finger tip when the time comes.

    I have known dogs that had great teeth into their teens and dogs that had bad teeth at a young age. It just has to be addressed on an individual basis. It is best to start looking as soon as possible and keeping an eye on the situation so that if the teeth are developing problems it can be caught early and dealt with.

    I hope my experience with Luka helps you decide how to deal with your dog’s dental issues.

  3. makakoa New Member

    canine dental hygiene

    Have been reading these posts with interest. I am a veterinary technician of 26 years, and my main role in the hospital where I work is that of "dental hygienist."

    I clean dogs' teeth on a daily basis, and I wish that I could say that dogs with severe periodontal disease were rare, but they are very common. There are a lot of factors that influence a dog's oral health: breed and oral conformation, oral microflora and general immune competence, diet and use of chew toys.

    Toy breeds, brachycephalic breeds (pug-nosed dogs), and dogs with malocclusions are rarely able to self-clean teeth through chewing action. Their teeth do not meet normally, and therefore, plaque and calculus accumulate. Even small breeds with good occlusion have problems due to the close set nature of their teeth. With a few exceptions, the only dogs I see that have few problems even into old age are very large breeds (50 pounds and up) with normal occlusion and general good health. By the way, I see numerous patients who are fed only high quality dry diets, and who still have periodontal problems or at least calculus that requires professional removal.

    If you own a dog that maintains excellent oral health without brushing, lucky you! But for the vast majority of us, maintaining good oral health means regular brushing. Of course, daily brushing is best; however, if you can brush at least every third day, you should be able to stay ahead of the hard calculus that requires scaling.

    I have 5 dogs, and brushing all daily is more than I can handle, but every third day works for me. All of my pets have been taught to allow handling of the mouth, I use a tasty chicken flavored enzymatic toothpaste, and high value treats for good behavior. Nobody seems to have any issues about the process. (Dogs with mouth pain will be resistant, so if your dog is very opposed to mouth handling, ask your vet for an exam to rule out dental problems that could be painful.)

    There are numerous good sites on the net that describe canine home care and the need for regular professional cleaning and exam, to include oral radiology. Your own veterinarian is a good place to start learning, since he/she knows your dog's special needs. Good oral health can add years to your dog's life and maintain his comfort for life. I encourage everyone to explore this very important aspect of dog ownership.

    freedomdreams likes this.
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    :goodpost: wow, lotsa good reading in this thread.

    My malnourished Buddy had brownish stains on his teeth :dogblink:when we first got him. We were going to have his teeth cleaned when he got neutered, but, turns out, by three months later, his teeth are now sparkling white.

    The dramatic change in his teeth was either his diet changing to healthy food, or, it's his frequently chewing toys all day long. He chews on all kindsa toys, soft rubber, hard rubber, hard ones, even the stuffed ones, i'd imagine, the tooth going in-and-out of the fabric so often, so many times each day-- must have some measure of cleaning effect...

    but now that i've read this, i guess i'll hafta rethink this toothbrushing stuff...!
  5. snooks Experienced Member

    I also have my dogs’ teeth checked yearly by the vet. Many experts suggest periodic checks with a canine dentist in addition to the vet to help spot very small fractures, slab fractures, preventative education and maintenance. Not to say a vet isn't adequate or great, just that there are specialties for a reason. It's just too much for one person to specialize in everything. There was a nice article in Whole Dog Journal last year about canine dentistry that is worth a read.


    You can buy back articles for $10 for a non subscriber or $7.50 or a subscriber. It's one of the greatest health and behavior dog publications out there. They also do yearly ranking of commercial foods and discuss other great topics. Check it out.

    Interesting post by someone on dogwise about her dentist experience. Good info.

    A canine dentist noticed that my boy dog had a slab fracture from chewing nylabones so I quit letting him have them. While most vets/dentists disagree about bones I found that just s little chewing time now and then on large knuckle bones (the knees) not sliced but whole keeps my dogs teeth clean. The knuckles should be too large to fit between the molars so the dog can't crack the bone. Bones should also be raw, not cooked, sterilized, or smoked because they will be softer and not brittle. Bones are good for 2-3 days of chew for a while then refrigerate. After a few days they dry and become brittle so I dig out the marrow to use for kongs and treats and throw the bone away. Don't use leg bones or the long weight bearing bones you often see in stores that are stuffed and wrapped up with all manner of things. They are very brittle naturally and all the processing makes them worse. Being very easy to fit between those cracking surfaces of the dogs teeth is bad.

    I do brush and it's easier after reading the dogwise post and the WDJ article b/c I know where to brush. With a raw diet, brushing, bones with supervision, my dogs' teeth are very clean and rarely need any cleaning. Bones always need supervision ensure they aren't cracking it, don't break it up, don't bite of slivers that could hurt them.

    freedomdreams likes this.
  6. jonesmith New Member

    Dog's Teeth Cleaning

    1. Use toothpaste your dog loves:- You should only use toothpaste formulated specifically for dogs.Human toothpaste isn’t good for pets and they don’t really like the taste. Dog toothpaste comes in flavors that dogs love so your dog might even think it is a treat to have his teeth brushed!

    2. Use the right size dog toothbrush:- You want to use a toothbrush that fits inside the dogs mouth and does the job. Too big and it might be uncomfortable.

    3. Start slow:- It’s best to start slowly by touching his mouth gently every night for a couple of weeks. Then move on to lifting up his gums for a couple of weeks. Then start rubbing his teeth with your finger with some dog toothpaste on it. Once he is used to all that, you can try the dog toothbrush.:dogmad:

    4. Be Consistent:- You need to be consistent with your dog dental care in order for you to see results. Try to brush your dogs teeth every day or at least every other day.

    5. Make It Fun:- you can make it fun for both you and your pet! Think of it as part of his grooming routine and make sure you give him a treat for being a good boy. Who knows, it could end up being something you both look forward to!
  7. snowblind New Member

    I can´t raw feed all the time but when I do, it cleans the dogs teeth considerably. I don´t trust any dry food actually cleaning the dogs teeth. How much the teeth need cleaning and how fast the plaque and tartar develops depends on the saliva (I don´t know how to say it in english but it depends what it consists of). Some breeders have made an observation that it is genetic at least to some degree. There are several exaples when one of the dogs of the same breed, close in build and apprearance, eating the same food and snacks needs teeth cleaning often and the other had sparkling whites.

    I don´t brush my dogs teeth on regular basis. I give them bones. Dachshunds eat chicken (anyone that feels a bit uncomfortable could drop the legbones but I love the backs and necks), the doberman eats pork- usually feet or thigh. Dachshunds also can chew on the legs but mine tend to eat the whole leg and get constipated. But the teeth are clean :) Our only problem is tartar build on the dobermans canines. Apparently she doesn´t use that much...

    I have a doggy toothbrush for the dober and this is the kind I think is the best of what I have seen. I call it a stereobrush :p and it is something like THIS. Mine is without the brushes on the "back" (facing downward on the picture). It saves alot of time on brushing the insides and outsides and horisontals of the teeth separately.
  8. lyka_01 Well-Known Member

    When cleaning your dog's teeth, here's what you need to look for…
    • Red or swollen gums
    • Tartar buildup or stains
    • Cracked teeth
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  9. curry Member

    Why? I have also a "Toy dog" (I hate this word for a living animal) and he loves raw meaty bones. Chicken bones are no problem for him, for example. Chicken bones are only dangerous when they are cooked or too old.

    My dogs have never seen a toothbrush and their teeths are perfectly white and healthy, as the Vet says.
    freedomdreams likes this.
  10. Dlilly Honored Member

    My GSD mix just had her teeth cleaned at the vet 2 weeks ago. I'm trying to brush them every day. (I forget some days. :sick:) We went to Petsmart to buy her some bones, but they were outrageously priced! I'm guessing I'll have to buy them online now....
  11. Jukes Well-Known Member

    Jukes's teeth are cleaned by the raw bones that he gets - I give him some that he can eat and others are just for recreational chewing (too hard for him to eat). He also loves chewing his toys so he has several Kongs and other similar hard chew toys. His teeth are really white but I do check them every week so he is used to me touching them - I look for any cracked teeth or tartar build up/stains on his teeth. So far I haven't had a problem - paws crossed that I never will:)
  12. Hayley Thompson Well-Known Member

    I agree with cleaning their teeth more so to get them accustomed to having you in their mouth should you ever need to be for an emergency or if later on in life they need to have dental work done! Riley is in love with her tooth paste, she would rather sit there and eat it all right from the tube. Right now we are Sunday brushers, and Sunday nail clippers! It really helps to be on a schedule and I find from just doing it once every week she is much more willing to let me in their to brush, and same thing with her nails, they may not need to be trimmed every week, but none the less I'll sit down on the floor with her and massage in between her pads and around the nails just so she becomes used to this!
  13. whipple Well-Known Member

    My dogs get raw often, and always have smoked bones around the house. They go crazy chewing the smoked meat off. They also get chicken and turkey necks, raw. Completely safe if not cooked. I just got Kitana and she's the same age as Sierra who we've had over a year. Sierras teeth are perfect, but Kits have a bit of tarter buildup. I hope the bones and raw will help, cuz honestly I hate brushing dogs teeth.
  14. BruceLover Active Member

    What I do is stick my finger in the very back of his mouth so he cant close his mouth...I know It sounds brutal but really he actually loves it!
  15. JazzyandVeronica Experienced Member

    I know this is an old thread...but I thought I would add my 2 cents.

    I have always brushed my dogs teeth. I have heard of older dogs having problems with teeth that need to be pulled and just like people, it is my understanding that a dog can get an infection in a "bad tooth" and infections can become systemic...so overall I have always figured a little extra time spent on oral hygiene is not wasted.

    And as others have said, it is good I think to have a dog accustomed to having your hands in it's mouth, it helps teach having a soft mouth and is useful for when you need to check the dog out for injury or to remove something from it's mouth (and with Veronica occasionally picking up stray food from the sidewalk :sick: I am constantly going in after it and pulling it out mid-chew :rolleyes:).

    I brush her teeth every night before bed with doggy toothpaste. First I use a finger brush and over time she just realized that I want her to open her mouth so I can get the inside teeth. I also taught the "open" command which is multi-purposed....open so I can clean your teeth, open and let go of the day old salami....

    After I brush with the finger brush, I use a childrens' electric toothbrush on the outer-teeth. Veronica always has a Hello Kitty (irony :D) toothbrush .

    An added benefit is people always comment on how white her teeth are and how her breath doesn't have a "doggy smell". :p
  16. Evie Experienced Member

    My vet is VERY pro-teeth cleaning and say exactly what you said veronica.... people get dental problems, so do dogs. Teeth falling out is NOT a normal thing to happen to elderly dogs but happens from preventable gum disease etc. They also state that 'doggy breath' is not normal and is also caused by bad teeth.

    I really should start brushing Evie's teeth come to think of it...
  17. southerngirl Honored Member

    I brush Missy's teeth with baking soda. She trys to like it the whole time I'm brushing her teeth:rolleyes:. I have thought about getting doggy toothpaste but I haven't got any yet but I might.
  18. Dice Smith Well-Known Member

    I used to brush Kodi's teeth with a mix of baking soda and a lil water to. Then I read in a few different doggy magazines that baking soda is toxic to dogs. :sick: I brushed his teeth this way for three months before I found out it was bad for him. Luckily, he never had any ill side effects. I just thought I would warn you and Missy. I got a doggy toothbrush cleaning kit at target for $6 that came with a large tube of mint toothpaste, a finger brush and a regular handle brush. He doesn't really like that flavor lol but he deals with it like a champ! :D
  19. Dice Smith Well-Known Member

    She has a Hello Kitty toothbrush!!! :ROFLMAO: I seriously can't stop laughing! That is just waaay to cute!!!! :ROFLMAO: :LOL: :p
    freedomdreams likes this.
  20. southerngirl Honored Member

    All of the websites I've seen say that baking soda is nontoxic to dogs.:confused: I've been using it for her since she was 6months and she is 6 know never had any problem with it
    Dice Smith likes this.

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