Vet Blog

How Often Should I Get My Pet’s Teeth Cleaned?

February 18, 2019

You probably clean your teeth every day without giving the process a moment's thought.

The importance of taking care of our dental health is something that is taught to most of us from a young age, and daily brushing quickly becomes just one small but significant part of our daily routine. Daily brushing helps to remove food particles that can interact with bacteria in our mouths and cause decay and other dental problems. However, did you know that your pet would benefit from just as much care and attention to their oral health too?

Our animals need their teeth for the same reasons that we do. They need to be able to bite and chew their food and form sounds that enable them to communicate with other animals around them. However, our pets also use their teeth as tools - to hold things, to kill prey, and to use as self-defense if the need ever arises. An animal without healthy teeth will feel vulnerable and unhappy and will struggle to eat properly.

In addition to the function of your pet's teeth, you also need to consider the effect that poor dental hygiene will have on her health and wellbeing. Not only can failing to take care of her teeth cause her to experience dental pain, but she could also be at serious risk of developing infections and periodontal disease, which has been linked to a variety of health problems including diabetes and even oral cancer. By ensuring your pet's teeth are as clean as they can be you can help reduce the risks associated with poor dental hygiene.

Professional Dental Cleaning

When you take your pet for her wellness checks, your vet in Miramar Beach, FL will speak to you about a group of services known as pet dentistry, and in particular, a professional pet dental clean. Brushing your pet's teeth at home is vitally important and the best way to take care of her dental hygiene. However, you will naturally find that you are limited in how well you can perform this task. Your pet may not cooperate fully with instructions and you cannot hope to get to all areas of her mouth on a daily basis.

Professional cleaning is usually performed while your pet is under the effects of general anesthesia. This means that she is totally unaware of what is happening and cannot become stressed or anxious. It also means that she is completely still, something that is important when you consider that the tools used to clean her teeth may be sharp and a sudden movement could cause her to be injured. Finally, a professional clean under anesthetic means that your pet dentist in Miramar Beach, FL has the time and access to do a comprehensive clean of every part of her teeth and mouth. While performing the clean, your pet dentist can also do a complete assessment of her dental health and check that there are no problems developing.

Is It Safe to Use General Anesthesia to Perform a Pet Dental Cleaning?

Many owners naturally have some reservations about the use of general anesthesia on their furbabies and believe that it should be reserved for medical surgeries only. However, the benefits associated with professional dental cleans are considered to significantly outweigh the small risks associated with the use of a general anesthetic. Rest assured, your pet will be monitored continuously throughout the procedure and if there were to be any concerns, your pet dentistry team would stop the clean immediately and bring her out of her anesthetized state as quickly and safely as possible.

How Often Should I Get My Pet's Teeth Cleaned?

In addition to brushing her teeth regularly, daily if possible, you should arrange for her to attend a professional clean with your pet dentistry team at least once every 12 months. Your pet dentist will be able to advise if these appointments will need to be more frequent which will be based on the individual needs of your furbaby. If she has severe periodontal disease or other dental problems, the frequency of her cleans may need to be increased until the issues are dealt with.

If you would like more information about pet dental health or would like to schedule an appointment for your pet with our pet dentistry team, please get in touch with our veterinary hospital in Miramar Beach, FL today at (850) 837-7072.