Friday, February 19, 2010

Pearly Whites

OK, you knew it was coming.

I'm a dentist. It's February.

That means it's time for me to devote a post to National Pet Dental Health month!

One of our earliest posts was about Brutus brushing his teeth. Oral hygiene was a habit I never started early enough with my other dogs, consequently they had to be put under local anesthesia every year or two for a professional cleaning. I thought it was the only option, actually. Don't know why it never occurred to me to brush their teeth (especially being a dentist!!). Didn't a vet ever mention it? Can't imagine I would have ignored them...

Ya' coming mom?? I got the brush all ready!

I've seen so many posts where our furiends have had to have toofers extracted! Yes, certain breeds (especially small dogs & brachycephalic dogs like pugs & Frenchies) are more prone to gum disease. But it doesn't mean they are destined to need doggie dentures!

A little preventive maintenance can go a long way!! Nearly all dental disease (decay and periodontal disease) is preventable, so why not do everything you can to make your dog's health better? Add to that all the recent research (both human and canine) that has shown connections between dental disease and cardiovascular disease. I won't bore you with all the details, but here is a good link for more information if you are interested.

If you knew you could avoid costly and/or risky procedures for your pooch (or kitty, but we don't talk about those here BOL!) just by picking up a toothbrush a few times a week, wouldn't you? If you haven't started yet, it will probably take a professional cleaning to get off the buildup of plaque - a toothbrush alone just can't do it if it's been accumulating for months or years. But it's not too late to start better habits!! When introduced properly to the routine (and a little poultry-flavored toothpaste helps a lot), most dogs learn to love having their teeth brushed - Brutus does!!

Mmmm.... Chicken toothpaste!!

If you already brush your pet's teeth regularly, than a big kudos to you! If you'd like to & don't know how to start, your veterinarian is a great resource. Don't wait until the tooth fairy needs to pay an untimely visit to inspire you to get started!

No, not that tooth fairy!! Doggies have their own!! Introducing Lily, the Toof Fairy!!!

Thanks to my friend Arlette for letting me borrow this great photo! She lives in Cologne, Germany and is owned by two fabulous Frenchies, Lily and Rufus. Don't make Lily work too hard, OK everyone??


Kari in Alaska said...

we hope to never have a visit from the tooth fairy!

Dexter said...

Momma bought me a toothbrush last week but she hasn't tried it out yet. She never brushed doggie toofers, but is ready to try.


Oreo said...

I am one of those that never really thought about the teeth. Guess I better get with the program, Do I buy the toothpaste at the vets or a pet store??


Two French Bulldogs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Two French Bulldogs said...

Oh my word...we can't believe momma went to a seminar all the way in Arizona and learned about doggy teeth brushing..She could have stayed home and we could have showed her how to brush teeth. We love it. We do agree with you Brutus, just chew the brush..BOL
Benny & Lily

Lorenza said...

My mom knows it is important... but I refuse to cooperate!
Now, she is going to ask my Vet about the best way to brush my toofies!
Kisses and hugs

Life With Dogs said...

We're big time believers! It' time well invested. And the dogs love it now...

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

Brutus... What a grrrreat PSA. I wish your mom would make a video of her helping you brush your teefs.
My mom was brushing dawg teefs WAAAAAY back when even her VET thought she was nuts. Butt it always paid off in spades. Or so she tells me. Back then... there was no such thingy as dawgie teefs paste... sooooo she used a small amount of baking soda on children's teefs brushes. She also would use an old soft hankie and wrap her finger with that dipped in 1/2 strength H. peroxide to "rinse". (Remember that I have told you she is not a stringy chicken.) She tells me I have it a lot better.
I Love to have my teefs brushed...even the back ones.

Mollie Jo and Bobo said...

Great the pawrents alot to think about.

Hmm...chicken flavor you say?!?!? That might not be so bad.

Wags and Licks,
Mollie Jo & Bobo

Lucy-Fur, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

Hmm. Maybe I'll let Mom give it a shot again. Abby and I are sort of in competition (well, okay, pretty much all the time) over everything, and if that little rat lets Mom brush her teeth, then I'd better let Mom try it on me, too. And then maybe I can get MOM to go to the dentist. *Ahem*

*kissey face*

Smushie Ranch said...

Thanks for the reminder Michelle. We need to start getting all 3 of them used to having their teeth brushed, particularly Betty. With her seizure disorder, I'd really hate to put her under anesthesia just to have her teeth cleaned.


Tucker said...

I have a toothy brush and my lips get in the way really bad though.

woof - Tucker

Pee S. my word verification was "nonapers" how horrific can you imagine no naps?

The Adventures of the LLB Gang said...

What a great post!! I don't mind toofer cleanings...but the Bilbo Boney Man...Mama has to have the vet clean his once a year...


Salinger The Pug said...

LOL! We love the pic of the Puggy with dentures!!!!

Thank you for the is chasing me with my toofbrush full of BEEF toofpaste! GOTTA GO!


Diane said...

That was some valuable information! Thanks for posting this.

Amber and Nala said...

Great post...I have been trying very hard to remember to brush Nala's teeth more regularly. She has started not to mind it as much now so that's a good thing. :) I have been reading about the connection between dental disease and heart disease...scary and a great reason to brush those toofers. ;)

Amber & Nala

Unknown said...

BOL you went to town with this post. Lily, the Toof Fairy!
As for your last comment about Linguini being anti-inflamed and cracked us up.

Bijou said...

Hi Brutus,

As you know, I made a post on this very thing not long ago. Mom bought Banjo a toof brush cause his bad breath would knock over a moose! So we both get our toofers brushed a few times a week.


♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

Great post and a great reminder to all our humans to take care of our teeth. We aren't crazy about the tooth brush but Mom does try. She vows to get the little one going right away so it is juat the way things are. Great pics too:)

Woos, Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

agent99 said...

Oh no! Just last night momma looked in the Foo's mouth and couldn't even find her upper teeth....she's afraid Foo's gums are really inflammed. SInce she's a senior, no one really wants her to be put to sleep! Yikes, we need some puggie-dentist afvice, quick!


Achieve1dream said...

Great post and so, so true.

Oskar said...

My mom person tried brushing my teeth when I was a puppy. Somehow every time I managed to shake the chicken flavored toothpaste and fling it into my mom persons mouth!

She did not appreciate it. But now she wishes that she had stuck with it more. Maybe once I get them cleaned at the vet, we'll try again!

Anonymous said...

my mommy is a dental assistant and she try's to brush my teefers every day but I try not to let her I am very stubborn and I dont like having them done...but we might try the chicken toofey paste, my back teeth still have some stuff on it I think mom calls it tartar?? even though they get brushed I dunno what do you think we should do?

wags and licks