Taking care of furkids oral is our major responsibility.
To keep them healthy, cleaning their teeth with the correct methods is very important. If their oral condition is not improving after a few brushing attempts, you might have missed out on some important steps! Without delay, let's learn up the correct procedure below.
Step 1: Choose the right toothbrush & toothpaste
Pick a toothbrush with a soft bristle or specially designed to fit in furkid's mouth. An oversize toothbrush might injure their gums easily. Either the finger toothbrush or handled toothbrush can be used, as long as they can adapt to the size and bristle of the toothbrush.
However, Is it compulsory to use toothpaste?
According to the vet's recommendation, the friction between the toothbrush and teeth is important to scrub off the tartar and dental build-up. Having said that, certain furkid might not adapt to the feeling of tooth brushing. In this case, parents can use flavoured toothpaste to attract them "eating". Choose kinds of toothpaste with a different flavour and change it every time.
The concept is just like giving them treats. After some time, they will deem the period of tooth brushing like their "tea time". It will be easier for us to brush their teeth once they have good impressions. The better the taste of the toothpaste, the easier we can brush their teeth. ´-ω-)b
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Step 2: Gently lift open the mouth from the side
Now you've known how to get them the right dental instrument, but don't be so eager to brush them right away. ⁽⁽ ◟(∗ ˊωˋ ∗)◞ ⁾⁾
Oral checking is the step we often missed out on. Use this opportunity to "spot check" their teeth and gums. Make sure there are no inflammations, bleeding or Periodontal diseases. If we insist to brush their teeth when they have oral problems, it will cause painfulness and create a bad impression. Visit the vet for an oral checkup if they have the above oral issues.
How To Know If They Have Oral Problems?
Smell It: It's abnormal when their breath has stinky smells like fish, poop, rotten meat, iron...
Observe It: Check and see if you can spot any stains, inflammations, bleeding, and tooth fractures.
Touch It: If furkids refuse to let you touch their gums; or they move their head quickly to one side after you touched a specific region.
*During the oral check, don't forcefully open their mouth if it makes them uncomfortable. Gently flip the lips will do.
Step 3: Brush the teeth in a circle at a 45° angle
The toothbrush and toothpaste are ready, oral condition checked, let's start brushing the teeth!
First, flip their lips to expose their teeth and gums. Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth, and brush it in a circular motion. 5~15 times at each region. Every part of the teeth has to be brushed thoroughly. Especially the gaps between the teeth and gums. This is the place where plaque and tartar usually build up!
Should we brush the inner surface of the teeth too?
Not necessary. As dogs usually use their tongue to clean the inner part, the dental buildups are normally found at the outer surface of teeth. However, if furkid has less resistance to teeth brushing, parents can also brush the inner surface for better oral cleaning.
Step 4: Start brushing from the incisors towards the molars
To make it simple, let us separate the dog's teeth into 6 major regions.
- Upper & Lower parts of the incisors
- Upper & lower parts of the right molars
- Upper & lower parts of the left molars
Incisors are the regions we can reach and brush easily, but we should focus on brushing the molars instead. These regions can trap bacteria easily and form dental plaque. It's not necessary to make the mouth wide open while brushing the molars region. Just place the toothbrush at a correct angle, gently brush back and forth will do.
Step 5: It's time to pet & give rewards!
Hurray! You're now a tooth brushing hero for furkids! One last thing to do before the brushing is finished, give treats as a reward. It enables them to relate 【Teeth Brushing = Happiness】 and it improves their impression of this habit. Don't forget to check their mouth again and observe if the gums are bleeding after brushing or not. Seek medical attention if abnormal bleeding is spotted.
Furboss TIPS -
Although oral problems are less likely to cause fatality in pets, but it creates painfulness that make their life miserable. Periodontal disease can lead to other health issues such as Mandibular Fractures, Oronasal Fistulas, and even Oral Cancer! No doubt, bad breath can be reduced by proper oral caring. However, if other abnormal symptoms were spotted such as inflammations, bleeding, excessive drooling... It's time for furkids to have an oral checkup.