Clean teeth

I preach this now and then about keeping your B's teeth clean by daily brushing or at least 3x/wk. Here's an example why. I just adopted Paolo who is about 4-5 years old. Previous people did not take care of his teeth. Most teeth on the upper sides are gone, upper back molars are bad and lowers and light brown. I've been brushing daily for almost 2 months and they are getting better (breath too) but as I was brushing the back upper left, the below decayed tooth fell out on the couch. I'm using Virbac C.E.T. tooth paste.

Try and use the tooth brush to keep the teeth clean, saving yourself money and most importantly your Bs teeth and health. Bad teeth can lead to bad heath.
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Good lesson, thanks for the reminder! Also, it's funny because Oakley will be two and I was wondering if it's normal to get a cleaning done at this age. I admit I'm bad at brushing (getting better) but he also has naturally plaquey teeth…any thoughts on getting a cleaning at two? They aret bad but I want to keep up with them...especially the long canines and big back teeth

First Basenji's

Oh my gosh! I would be so shocked if a decayed tooth just fell out… poor Paolo. I hope it wasn't causing him too much distress. 😞

I continue to struggle with Bowpi's dental issues, but I definitely took heed of your (collective) message the first time. Bowpi is still not great about toothbrushing -- her tongue is extremely FAST and she's adept at licking the toothpaste off the brush before I can even get it to her teeth -- but I do manage to get something done 2 or 3 times a week. She's already shown marked improvement since we adopted her (she's had one full dental with us, too) but her breath is still pretty bad most of the time. It's an ongoing issue. I wonder too how genetics plays a part.

Some dogs for sure have more of a problem, even when management is the same for all. My niece who is a vet had one cat with terrible teeth, no matter what she did. If you give them bones they will tend to keep their teeth clean, but you risk damage with vigorous chewers. I don't think it matters all that much if you use toothpaste or not. Just cleaning with a brush or your finger with one of those slip on finger brushes should help, as will giving chews of some sort. I have recently discovered sweet potato chews…....just dried sweet potato, no other ingredient.......and they seem to help. I also use a dental scaler from time to time when my guy gets a bit of tartar build up. I can't reach everything, but I manage fairly well until he runs out of patience. 🙂

@curlytails:

Oh my gosh! I would be so shocked if a decayed tooth just fell out… poor Paolo. I hope it wasn't causing him too much distress. 😞

I continue to struggle with Bowpi's dental issues, but I definitely took heed of your (collective) message the first time. Bowpi is still not great about toothbrushing -- her tongue is extremely FAST and she's adept at licking the toothpaste off the brush before I can even get it to her teeth -- but I do manage to get something done 2 or 3 times a week. She's already shown marked improvement since we adopted her (she's had one full dental with us, too) but her breath is still pretty bad most of the time. It's an ongoing issue. I wonder too how genetics plays a part.

Anal gland problems can cause bad breath too. Dogs may develop bad breath from other causes like sore throats, renal failure, bowel disease, sinus infections, lung infections, digestive upsets, stool eating, vaginitis and lower urinary tract infections.

@eeeefarm:

Some dogs for sure have more of a problem, even when management is the same for all. My niece who is a vet had one cat with terrible teeth, no matter what she did. If you give them bones they will tend to keep their teeth clean, but you risk damage with vigorous chewers. I don't think it matters all that much if you use toothpaste or not. Just cleaning with a brush or your finger with one of those slip on finger brushes should help, as will giving chews of some sort. I have recently discovered sweet potato chews…....just dried sweet potato, no other ingredient.......and they seem to help. I also use a dental scaler from time to time when my guy gets a bit of tartar build up. I can't reach everything, but I manage fairly well until he runs out of patience. 🙂

Usually I just use water and the brush. But I started using the toothpaste mainly for Paolo because it has enzymes to help break down the plaque. His breath is definitely better.

First Basenji's

She's getting a full panel when she goes in to the vet next. Everything was normal last time she got a blood panel (this would've been February 2011), so I'm pretty sure the stink is all her mouth. She gets raw meaty bones as well (poultry – she refuses most raw on four feet, which is just as well). She's surprisingly good about letting me scale her canines, but I can't reach her molars. I sometimes give dental chews. The ones made by Virbac (they also make that C.E.T. toothpaste) seem to help, but the others on the market I generally regard as just longer-lasting treats, because they don't really clean any better than raw meaty bones. Let's see, we also give daily PlaqueOff supplements and I've also tried some of the "no brush" oral gels. Her teeth aren't rotting out and getting worse, but MAN it's tough! I just won't give up!

I do wish brushing was easier. Sometimes I just resort to using my bare (clean) fingers with toothpaste, because she squirms less and luckily doesn't chomp hard. My vet's advice was that it was more important to get the toothpaste on her teeth than to "scrub" with the toothbrush... though ideally, you aim to get both the enzymatic and abrasive action. 😛

While others might disagree… I would suggest Plaque Off.... I swear by it.. and we have a Basenji that has bad teeth, due to whatever.... and this has really helped him. Not in exchange for teeth brushing.. but in addition to it.. I use only that and brush with water... but certainly would not be a problem to use a doggy toothpaste....

And I would worry about a gum infection… but I know that you are "in tune" with your kids....

Is there an age where a dog is too young for a maintenance teeth cleaning by the vet? In my case- almost two?

Normal Vet check up should tell you if there is a problem with the teeth. If you are brushing at least 3 to 5 times a week, should not be a problem unless your dog has teeth problems brought on by genes…. there are lines that have bad teeth. My OJ was one and many or most of his relatives had teeth problems.

We are lucky, my vet does an awake tooth cleaning using ultrasonic. Takes about 15 minutes, his 2 techs do it and gets all the plaque off. No polish or stain removal, but gets the crud off the teeth and gums. Dogs come back waggy with wet faces. When they find a problem the vet goes for a look and then you have to schedule anesthesia, but this de-plaquing with the annual physicals is….$25. If done separately, not with yearly, it is about $45 or $50.

No matter how old, if the teeth need cleaning , it will hopefully prevent gum problems. Some have to be done every couple of years, even with regular brushing. As Pat said, some just have bad teeth.

First Basenji's

@MacPack Holy cow, $25??? I am incredibly jealous! Anesthesia-free cleaning (not sure if with ultrasonic tools or not) start at $100 around here!

@curlytails:

@MacPack Holy cow, $25??? I am incredibly jealous! Anesthesia-free cleaning (not sure if with ultrasonic tools or not) start at $100 around here!

On this side of the bay it's $130. It goes along with the sky high gas and housing prices here.

Sorry, MacPac, but every single vet school and research says the awake cleaning is not enough. Not going to overwhelm you with links but if my vet even offered such after all I have read and that they darned well should KNOW, I would be asking about another vet or taking them information to educate them. Cosmetic cleaning doesn't cut it.

UCDavis:::: Additionally, it is impossible to do a thorough cleaning with your pet awake. … may be able to remove the obvious superficial calculus from your pet's teeth, but he/she cannot get under the gums, where the cleaning is needed. We have seen many pets with 'clean' teeth that need to have many extractions because the underlying periodontal disease was not fully addressed.

From the American Veterinary Dental College
http://www.avdc.org/dentalcleaning.html
:::::Every professional dental cleaning starts with a review of the patient’s general health and any previous dental history. For a thorough, safe dental cleaning in veterinary patients, anesthesia is essential, as this permits a comprehensive assessment of the tissues, allows dental radiographs to be made when indicated, followed by the cleaning (scaling and polishing procedure) itself. So-called “anesthesia-free dental scaling” is not recommended by AVDC.::::::::::::

So, really, pay more, get it done right. Or with young dogs do a real cleaning every 2 yrs at least.

The good news on tooth brushing is that after hours of searching (my dog has CUPS so we brush daily, have dental cleaning every 3 mos, and she is on steroids every 3 days, still gets some spots and needs antibiotics about every 4 or 5 mos 😞 ) – you don't have to brush like your own and you don't need to do it for 2 or 3 mins to do the job. The outer cheek side is what is critical, some on the tops, but you just need to disrupt plaque and the brushing alone does that. Yeah, some of the products do help, but not that much. I have four different types, lol, all with the sodium hexawhatever in them, mostly for taste and variety. But you don't have to have it.

They said nearly 70 percent of dogs have gum/tooth issues by the age of 3 if their teeth are not regularly brushed. So I plan to have Cara's cleaned in Feb when she turns 3 even though I do brush hers a few times a week. Back when I fed raw, I never had a dog who lost a tooth, had bad breathe or needed teeth cleaned. Ever. Sigh. But even if Arwen could have raw, with her autoimmune problem, I'd still be brushing.

As for Plaque Off, it's cheap, won't hurt. But again, the company's OWN research says works 5 wks and then the plaque increases again. Unlike owners who really can't scientifically examine plaque amts, when they actually test and KNOW it doesn't keep helping, I'd rather use my money on something that does (like my 8 different tooth brushes so I am sure I get different effects-- lol can you tell how desperate this situation makes me?) I tried 2 bottles, didn't help at all for me.

I fully admit I don't brush regularly an am working on changing that habit. His physical is in February so I'll likely schedule a cleaning if my vet doesn't object. Oakley has plaque that I'd like to get rid of and start fresh with his brushing and oral hygiene. Plus he chipped a long front canine as a pup from his bad crate days and that tooth has plaque as well. I know he's young but I figure it can't hurt. Teeth are important and I haven't done a great deal of paying attention to them. Kinda time to right the wrong I guess.

First Basenji's

Chelsea, February is "national pet dental month" and many vets offer discounts on dental services. That's when we did Bowpi's dental, and I took her around town to get several estimates as numerous vets were participating in the month's promotions, which was usually 20 ~ 25% off regular dental services (pretty significant when you're talking about $600 ~ $1000+ jobs!). Could be something to ask your vet about.

And Debra, no, while anesthesia-free dental doesn't replace the need for a full dental, if it cost me $25 a run, I would be happy to do it with a regular checkup! While keeping an eye on the possible need to do more, of course.

I'll go back and take a look again at PlaqueOff's published reports, which I saw that they post on their website, but I actually had a slightly different memory of its efficacy – though I could have misread it. My understanding is not that plaque "increases" after 5 weeks, but the beneficial effects sort of plateau after a certain period of time -- which has been our experience with it. It's definitely not a miracle cure to be used on its own, but since I did see the difference it made at the outset, I preferred to keep it in the regimen.

I hope the 600-1000$ range is the west coast pricing! Lol

Oakleys teeth are mild, and I bet the vet would never draw attention to them. But I would rather have the "preventative" cleaning done now so I can start over with a fresh new slate regarding teeth brushing and such. They can't give me an estimate since they haven't seen his teeth but I imagine it will be on the very low end of necessary($)…irregardless, he will get one.
What the heck is another 500$ anyhow...lol

Oh, Oakley- if I didn't have him I swear I'd be rich...it's a good thing I'm not use to the finer things in life or I'd be screwed!!
🙂

Thanks to the OP for posting! Reinforced my drive to maintain Oakleys teeth and to do a better job with it....

I asked my niece, who is a vet, about "awake tooth cleaning using ultrasonic" procedure. This was her response: "If the teeth aren't polished after the cleaning (and the cleaning in an awake dog could not possibly be an even adequate job), there are microfissures created on the tooth. The tartar will collect even quicker. I am surprised that a vet would ever do this."

Eeefarm, I thought about buying a scaler to do Oakleys molars, just to scratch it off- but that was the exact reason I didn't…figured even more would stick to it after I roughed it up!
Glad I didn't

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