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The Importance of Dental Hygiene on Overall Pet Health

Many people are unaware that dental health is an important factor in an individual’s overall health. This is true for both humans and canine alike. However, where the majority of people follow basic dental hygiene routines for themselves, far less have implemented a good dental hygiene routine for their furry friend.

No matter how much you care for and pamper your pet, you risk your pet's health if you ignore their dental hygiene. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), about 70 percent of cats and 80 percent of dogs have some form of periodontal disease by age three.

Proper dental cleaning is a sure way to protect your pet's teeth and overall health. Read along to learn about the importance of dental hygiene on overall pet health and ways to promote dental health in pets.

Why Dental Health is Important for Your Pet's Overall Health

Poor dental hygiene in your pet can lead to plaque and tartar buildup. Ignoring these issues puts your pet at risk of dental disease and other systemic health issues.

Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and the tissues around the teeth (periodontitis).

Gingivitis is a common dental issue in pets and if left unattended, can lead to periodontal disease (the infection of the gums and bone around the teeth).

Over time, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss, which impacts your pet's ability to eat and drink.

Proper Dental Hygiene Prevents Tooth Loss

Plaque and tartar buildup can damage the teeth's support structure, which can lead to them falling out as time progresses. Regular cleanings can protect the support structure of your pet’s teeth from damage.

The loss of teeth is a serious problem in animals as it affects their ability to eat, which puts them at risk of malnutrition and other health issues.

Oral Pain Can Lead to Malnutrition

Toothaches are painful for your furry friend just as they are for humans.

Oral pain due to dental disease will not just make your pet uncomfortable but will prevent them from eating, leading to malnutrition and other health issues.

Maintaining proper oral hygiene for your pet helps prevent oral pain and other dental issues.

Proper Dental Hygiene Prevents Infections and Diseases

Dental hygiene can benefit your pet more than you think. For example, plaque and tartar buildup can lead to a buildup of bacteria in your pet's mouth. When the bacteria enter your pet's bloodstream, they can spread to other vital body organs like the liver, kidney, and heart where they cause infections and diseases.

Studies show that bacteria associated with dental issues in pets are also linked to heart disease. These bacteria can enter the heart, causing inflammation. Other studies suggest that pets with periodontal disease are at a higher risk of heart disease.

Dental issues in pets also pose a threat to the liver and kidneys. These organs are involved in filtering blood, which puts them at risk of bacterial invasion from bacteria that has traveled from the oral cavity.

The presence of bacteria in your pet's liver and kidneys can result in infection and inflammation, which interferes with their function. This leads to other health issues such as decreased appetite, fever, and weight loss.

Luckily, good pet dental hygiene can prevent bacteria in the mouth from building up and spreading to other vital organs. It can reduce the risk of secondary infections and diseases of the joints, heart, liver, and kidneys.

Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits for Pets

As you can see, oral health can greatly impact your pet's overall health. A lack of proper dental hygiene puts your cat or dog at risk for dental diseases and other serious health issues.

Below are steps you can take to protect your pet's oral health:

Brush Your Pet's Teeth Regularly

The first step to protecting your dog from dental issues is brushing their teeth regularly (daily is ideal, if possible).

Brushing your pet's teeth will help remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup. To do this, you'll need canine toothpaste like C.E.T. Enzymatic toothpaste and a canine tooth brush.

Once you get your C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Kit, apply a small amount of the canine toothpaste onto the toothbrush or finger brush and gently apply it over your pet's teeth and gums (both outside and inside).

Talk to your veterinarian about how often you should use the enzymatic toothpaste to remove plaque and maintain proper oral hygiene for your pet.

Dental Prescription Diet

Your pet's diet greatly impacts their overall health, including dental health. However, not all diets are designed to support oral health in pets. Talk to your veterinarian about the best prescription diet for dental care.

One of the diets that your vet may recommend for your pet's dental care is Hill's Dental Care t/d food. Hill's Dental Care t/d with Chicken Dry Dog Food is formulated for dogs, and your feline friend can benefit from Hill's Dental Care t/d Chicken Flavor Dry Cat Food.

This food is clinically proven to reduce plaque and tartar buildup on your pet's teeth. Hill's Dental Care t/d food is a balanced nutritional solution for your pet that requires veterinary authorization.

Besides cleaning and promoting fresh breath in your pet's mouth, this food can help clean the gum line to promote healthy gums.

Of course, this is one of many oral care foods you can give your pet. Talk to your veterinarian about the best dental diets for your pet's specific needs.

Dental Chews and Treats

Not all pets are comfortable with teeth brushing. If that's the case with your pet, you may want to try pet dental hygiene chews and treats such as Oravet Chews. These chews can help prevent bacteria buildup along with plaque and tartar accumulation on your dog's teeth. Oravet chews are ideal for dogs six months and older and should not be given to cats.

Other pet dental hygiene chews include C.E.T. HEXtra Chews, C.E.T. VeggieDent Chews, Clenz-A-Dent Breakables Rawhide Dental Chews, DeNtees, etc. The best approach is to consult your vet about the best dental chews for your pet.

Water Additives, Sprays, Mouthwashes, and Oral Gels

Another way to support good oral health in your pet is using water additives, mouthwashes, and sprays.

Water additives, such as Vetradent Powder Water Additive or Vetradent Water Additive for Dogs and Cats, work against bacterial infection to prevent tartar, oral cavity, and halitosis in pets. They are also simple to use – just add the proper dosage to your pet’s water.

You can also use Vetradent Dental Spray to moisturize your pet's mouth and reduce the risk of cavities, gum disease, and infections.

Pet mouthwashes and oral rinses, such as Dentahex Oral Rinse and Clenz-A-Dent Chlorhexidine Dental Rinse, can help fight tartar to keep your pet's teeth strong. They can also kill bacteria to prevent bad odor and promote healthy gums.

A dental oral gel can also help clean and freshen your pet's mouth. For example, Maxi/Guard Oral Cleansing Gel contains zinc ascorbate, which helps eliminate bad breath in pets, including horses, dogs, and cats. The gel promotes gum health and can help treat advanced cases of periodontal disease.

Other oral gels for pets that you may want to consider include OraVet Plaque Prevention Gel and Dentacetic Dental Gel. Consult your veterinarian about the best oral gel for your pet.

Pet Oral Cleansing Wipes

Oral cleansing wipes such as Maxi/Guard Oral Cleansing Wipes, Dentacetic wipes, etc., can help eliminate plaque, reduce gingival inflammation, and fight mouth odors. Using oral cleansing wipes is straightforward—apply the dental wipe to your pet's teeth and gums and gently rub as instructed by your vet.

Promote Your Pet's Dental Hygiene and Overall Health

As you can see, the benefits of proper teeth cleaning go beyond oral health.

While a proper oral hygiene routine will help prevent plaque and tartar buildup and promote fresh breath in your pet, it also helps prevent other serious issues like heart disease and infections of the liver and kidneys. This will ensure your pet stays healthy and lives longer.

Apart from the dental care practices mentioned above, scheduling a professional dental cleaning at least once a year is vital. During the dental visits, your vet will analyze your pet's mouth for any oral issues and prescribe the best treatment regimen and diet care.

Once your vet recommends the best dental care for your pet, visit to have top quality oral hygiene products delivered directly to your door.


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