Pet Dental Care Prevents Disease

Pet Dental Care

From simple cleaning to surgical procedures, regular dental care is important for maintaining your pet's teeth and health. Decay and damage to the teeth and gums allows bacteria and disease to enter an animal's system, causing serious problems for your pet. Our philosophy is to support and promote prevention in pet dental care for optimum health and longevity.

We use modern and safe ultrasound to clean each tooth thoroughly, above and below the gum line. Our dental technicians polish teeth to create a smooth, lustrous tooth surface, more resistant to plaque build-up. Fluoride treatments help strengthen enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity. We also provide advanced dental care, when needed, including root canals, caps, and advanced dental surgical procedures.

Tropicana Animal Hospital embraces the AAHA Dental Care Guidelines, which recommend regular oral examinations and dental cleanings for all adult dogs and cats. AAHA recommends these procedures at least annually starting at one year of age for cats and small-breed dogs, and at two years of age for large-breed dogs.

Their guidelines recommend the following:

  • Pre-anesthetic exam—Whenever anesthesia is needed, special considerations are taken to help ensure the safety of your pet. Tropicana Animal Hospital veterinarians thoroughly examine your pet to make sure the animal is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. We may run blood, urine, electrocardiograph, and x-ray tests to check for any dangerous heart, kidney, or other conditions. Though there is some risk associated with any medical procedure, modern anesthesia is usually safe, even for older pets.
  • Anesthesia monitoring—During anesthesia, the monitoring and recording of your pet's vital signs (such as body temperature, heart rate, and respiration, as well as other factors) is important. This helps ensure the safety of your pet while undergoing anesthesia.
  • Dental radiographs—Radiographs (x-rays) of the teeth are needed periodically in order to completely evaluate your pet's oral health, detecting abnormalities that cannot be detected under examination alone.
  • Scaling and polishing—Tropicana Animal Hospital veterinarians use instruments similar to human dentists' tools to remove plaque and calculus from your pet's teeth. To smooth out any scratches in the tooth enamel, we polish with a special paste.
  • Fluoride and sealants—The application of an anti-plaque substance, such as a fluoride treatment or barrier sealant can help strengthen and desensitize teeth, as well as decrease future plaque.

Home Dental Care for Your Pet

Your pet's dental care depends on you. As a pet owner, you play a pivotal role in dental health through regular teeth brushing. AAHA recommends using the following process to clean the inside surfaces of your pet's teeth with an inexpensive pet toothpaste, found at your local pet supply store:

  1. Place your hand over your pet's muzzle from the top.
  2. Gently squeeze and push his lips on one side between the back teeth (to keep his mouth open).
  3. Pull his head back gently so his mouth opens.
  4. Brush his teeth on the opposite side.
  5. Repeat this process for the other side.

For more information on getting started with your pet's home dental care regime, read the AAHA teeth brushing article.

Remember . . . pets can live longer, healthier lives if oral health care is managed and maintained throughout their lives. In fact, proper dental care may add as much as five years to your pet's life!

Read more about pet dental care at the AAHA website.