Dental disease prevention has been a big frustration for dog kennels. If the correct steps are not taken to prevent dental disease, the end results are unhealthy animals and infected mouths. Most prevention involves treating the mouth directly once or twice a day. However, this is not always possible on a consistent basis.
Dog Plaque vs Tartar
Plaque is a slime layer that forms on the tooth at the gum line. Plaque is a living bacterial layer that lives on the food being eaten. It was thought that dry food would remove it, but mechanical scraping of plaque by feeding dry food is not effective on its own. Plaque just moves up and down as the chewing happens with little benefit.
What Does Tartar Look Like On Dogs Teeth
The problem arises after plaque mineralizes to form tartar. Tartar is a rock-type substance that requires scraping and ultrasonic cleaning, basically miniature jackhammers to remove. The key is to kill the plaque before it can mineralize and bond to enamel.
Plaque tartar takes four to five days to form, so killing the plaque at least twice a week will prevent tartar buildup. Once the plaque is killed, it can then be removed with the mechanical chewing of dry food.
How to Take Care of Dogs Teeth
By themselves, dental chews have not been the answer, but once the plaque and the gingivitis is cleaned up, dental chews help. C.E.T® Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Dogs are abrasive enough to help remove tartar buildup. Enzymatic chews can be safely used with other dental care products and are especially helpful for Yorkies and similar breeds known for extreme tartar buildup. Your goal is to eliminate anesthetic dentals whenever possible.
Other product such as Zinc and Citric Acid have worked well, but they have a stability issue, making it difficult to get in the animal.
Long-Term Dog Dental Care
Although some breeders are genetically selecting away from dental issues, some dogs simply don’t have good teeth and require regular dental cleaning. Prevention will keep the gum line healthy, longer preventing most issues. If you can prevent the majority of dental issues, it is economical to do the dental cleaning for the few who really need it.
If you have other dog dental care questions, call us at 800.786.4751.
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Written by: Donald Bramlage, DVM
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, practiced veterinary medicine for 30+ years and is known for his work in managing parvovirus. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1985. He served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services from 2011 until his retirement in 2019.