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Old 10-27-2013, 08:57 AM
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Cali Mae Cali Mae is offline
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Default How many times per year does your dog get a dental?

Cali got her first dental this past summer, and I'm starting to wonder if perhaps a twice annual dental is what would work best for her.

I'll be honest and say that, in the past, I have often forgetten to brush her teeth. Antlers/chews/etc are what I mainly rely on to keep her teeth clean because a) it's no fuss and b) they do a good job when she receives them on a regular basis. I've been brushing her teeth every couple days now and they are getting cleaner, but since she's a toy breed, I'm always extra worried about her dental health.

There is a bit of plaque around the gumline but not an overwhelming amount. I'm hoping to possibly get down to Global Pet Foods next weekend to see if they finally have beef tracheas in stock, since they seem to have the most substantial benefit, plus they last a few weeks... but I'm pondering the idea of another dental cleaning in December if I don't see any satisfactory improvement. I hate the idea of putting her under, but I know the vets take excellent care of her and I know the vet techs give her plenty of cuddles afterwards.

Also, does anyone have any tips on getting Cali's cooperation with a tooth brush? I can get it done, but it's a huge struggle. She's fine with me touching her teeth up until she sees the toothbrush, and it's just not a pleasant experience for either of us. We've tried rewarding her, etc but to no avail.
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:13 AM
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Have you ever tried a finger toothbrush? My dogs seem MUCH more amenable to that than a regular one.

Ziva goes in for her first dental in the next couple of months, she'll be 7 in March. I probably should have had it done last year, but regardless, it's not something we plan to do annually, let alone twice/year.
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:14 AM
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I've never had a dog get a dental, they've never needed it.
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:24 AM
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CharlieDog CharlieDog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
I've never had a dog get a dental, they've never needed it.
Mine either. I scale them myself at home if I feel like anyone needs it, or I notice a build up, but I've never taken them into the vets to do it.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:00 AM
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None of my dogs have ever had a dental at the vets, I have a scraper that I use if I feel like they have a little grime and they chew a lot as well.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:09 AM
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Little dogs are notorious for teeth problems... I know quite a few Yorkies who need dentals every 6-8 months. It's all genetics though, really. There are some who are fine and hardly need them.

Jackson is 5 and has has two. Both were definitely warranted IMO but I am a stickler for fresh teeth and breath. He had one in November 2011 and another in April 2013. I had really slacked with his teeth between the two which is why he needed another this past April.

It amazes me how fast plaque and tarter build up on his teeth. If I don't brush for 2-3 days, I notice lots of gunk building up. Most of it can brush off, but yeah if I go over a week w/o brushing, stuff starts to stain.

I think dental health is so important and beware of non-anesthetic cleanings that a lot of groomers are now doing. Getting above the gumline is what is important and just having white teeth doesn't mean the gums or the rest of the mouth is healthy.

Anesthesia is really so safe now, and if you use the right protocols (preop bloodwork, safe anesthesia, etc), it should be fine. Of course it's always worrisome and I hate doing it, too, but I think a lot of people (and even vets) don't care as much about oral health in canines as they should.

This was this past year... Before:


After:


(he has a shaved down canine due to overbite if you're wondering lol)

Some would've said their dogs teeth were fine in the first pic, but whatever *shrugs*

I try to brush at least 4 nights a week with CET toothpaste. I also use petzlife a few times a week. I have HealthyMouth gel too which seems to work well, but I kind of want to buy the liquid stuff to put in water, or you can put it on top of food. I think I'd be more inclined to use that instead of applying the gel with a q tip which is annoying. But HealthyMouth is the only water additive I'd use or trust. It's been tested and trialed and VOHC approved which is a pretty big deal.

I originally trained him to come into the bathroom with me every night. At first we did nothing, he just got a treat for coming in the bathroom. Then he would get a treat for smelling or touching the toothbrush. Then I would lift up his lip, but not brush, and give him a treat. We did this for about 2 weeks and then gradually began brushing. He still hates it, but I have to do it, and he knows it, and he always gets a yummy treat like cheese.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:09 AM
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Never. Mackenzy is 8. The others are young so that's no surprise though. They're raw fed and chew on lots of stuff.

They're also not toy breeds, though. Unfortunately I think toy breeds often have dental issues and build up regardless of care or diet.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:13 AM
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Lucy is 7 and just had her first dental back in March. So far they still look fine with home dental care and I don't think she's ever going to have another dental. Juno is 4.5 and has no tartar buildup, so again I don't foresee that she'll ever need a dental. If you feel her teeth need the help of professional cleaning then by all means do it.

I brush as often as I remember to - generally a few times a week - and that's pretty much it.

I agree that a finger brush or a piece of gauze or something might be more tolerable to her.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:42 AM
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Meg had her first dental about two years ago; I probably would have put it off longer, but she had a broken tooth that had to come out. She'll probably have another this spring, as she has a tooth that is getting a little loose and will probably need to be out. She's unfortunately got less than stellar teeth (terrible underbite) and she's had some chips and cracks. So as long as she's going under for something else, she gets a cleaning.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:01 AM
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My current dogs have never had a dental cleaning, they are "good" chewers who apparently won the oral health genetic lottery.

I used to have a greyhound, though. Man, she could have had her teeth cleaned three or four times a year and they would have gotten gross in between no matter what I did. My other previous dogs averaged probably every 2-3 years.

The only concern with twice a year would be the anesthesia, which honestly in this day and age is a really minimal risk especially if she's done fine with it in the past. For a toy breed who builds up tartar quickly, hand scaling while awake is largely cosmetic but isn't going to address any periodontal disease brewing under the gumline.

It might help to use something like Oravet if it's available where you are, although you still have to remember to do it, it's only once a week. Or Hill's makes a diet called T/D that is actually quite effective although I don't really recommend using it as the diet but rather just give a couple of pieces before bed as a "treat."
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