February is National Pet Dental Health Month

February is National Pet Dental Health Month!  It is important to improve your pet’s health and rid their mouth of harmful bacteria.  Can you imagine how your teeth would feel if they hadn’t been brushed for 5-6 years?  Especially if you eat things like poop for instance (as many dogs do)?!  Gross!  That is why regular dental cleanings are necessary for your pet’s overall health.  The visible plaque and other material that you may see on the teeth of cats and dogs is actually loaded with disease causing  bacteria.  Over time, the bacteria enter the bloodstream and can settle in places like the heart and kidneys.

Some dogs (especially larger breeds) do not need dental cleanings until later in life.  Small dogs such as chihuahuas, poodles and yorkies may need yearly dental cleanings starting at a young age.  The average cat needs their first dental around 6-7 years of age.

It is necessary to do bloodwork to make sure your pet is healthy enough for the procedure.  Once the bloodwork is done, your pet is placed under general anesthesia.  The teeth are cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler and polished.  A veterinarian checks the teeth for root exposure, fractures, and infection.  Any teeth that are diseased are extracted.  The remaining teeth are then given a flouride treatment.  Once this is done, your pet begins to wake up and will be ready to go home later in the day.



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