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For most of us, caring for our teeth and gums has been part of our daily routine for as long as we can remember.  If we don't, we risk not only having bad breath but also plaque build up and gum disease.  Just like you, your pet needs dental care too.

Teeth and gum problems are some of the most common conditions we see in dogs and cats with over 80% of animals over 4 years of age affected to some degree.  The severity of gum disease is dependent not only on age, but also on diet and breed with small dogs and cats being more commonly affected.

As Veterinarians we are becoming increasing aware that many teeth and gum problems we see can be prevented.  Preventative measure maintain healthy gums and avoid painful problems such as gum inflammation (gingivitis), teeth loss, difficulty eating and excessive salivation.

To maintain your pets teeth and gums, consider the following measures:Smiling Dog

Select a diet that encourages your pet to work for its food by chewing and tearing.  This means don't always pamper your pet with mince and other soft foods.  Many excellent commercial foods are on the market today such as Hills T/D diet that are especially designed to control tartar on pets teeth as well as the old favourites such as raw meaty bones and chicken wings which promote chewing.

If you have a new puppy or kitten consider training it so you can clean its teeth regularly.  This is not difficult when they are young.  There are now special toothbrushes and pastes that are made for pets.

Have check ups done regularly - yearly is fine (in association with vaccinations) for younger pets, but with older pets 6 monthly check ups are often recommended.

If dental care is required we will recommend a clean, scale and polish using an ultrasonic dental scaler to restore your pet's teeth to their sparkling best - just like your dentist.