Pet Smile Month
Our pet’s teeth were designed for their natural diet of raw meat, sinew and bone. The process of eating these foods had a natural cleaning action on the teeth.
Nowadays however, we feed soft textured food, and even biscuit diets can be swallowed with little chewing.
The end result is a very unpleasant combination of sore gums, tartar build up, rotten painful teeth and smelly breath (halitosis).
Dental disease affects up to 70% of adult cats and dogs over 3 years old!!!! It is however 100% preventable with regular dental checks, good dental hygiene and early detection of problems.
The mouths of our dogs and cats are naturally unhygienic environments full of bacteria. Many of the bacteria will breed on the surface of the teeth to form an invisible layer called plaque.
Some of the plaque is naturally removed when your pet chews and eats, but any that remains can become thickened and mineralised and can then be seen as tartar.
A build up of tartar on the teeth will cause the gums to recede around the base of the tooth. Infection soon follows and as a result of inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) they recede. Untreated infection then spreads to the tooth socket which causes the tooth to loosen and be lost.
In severe cases of dental disease, bacterial toxins from infected teeth can cause irreversible kidney, liver and heart disease!
Once tartar has been formed, the only way that it can be removed is with a professional ultrasonic scale and polish under general anaesthetic, performed by a veterinary surgeon.
The most effective prevention of dental disease is to regularly brush your pet’s teeth. This should be made as pleasurable as possible with lots of praise and reward. It is possible in most dogs, but admittedly not all cats!
Your veterinary practice will be able to supply a special toothbrush and toothpaste for pets.
With gentleness, patience and perseverance it is possible to regularly clean your pet’s teeth.
To start with you can dip the toothbrush in something tasty and smear it onto the outside of your pet’s teeth, or even just use some toothpaste on your finger to begin with.
Most owners find that their pets will tolerate the cheek teeth being cleaned before they are happy to allow you to clean the front teeth.
Never use human toothpaste as this is not designed to be swallowed and could cause illness.
September is Pet Smile Month and Banstead Village Veterinary Surgery will be offering free dental checks during this month.
Should your pet need dental treatment, we are also offering greatly reduced price dentals this month. The package includes the free dental health check up, pre-op blood test, anaesthetic, ultrasonic scale and polish, antibiotics and up to 2 extractions if necessary. This special offer during Pet Smile Month saves well over £100 on the normal costs of dental treatment!.
Please contact us on 01737 210011 to arrange your pet’s free Pet Smile Month check up.