Fort Lauderdale Dog Teeth Cleaning
Like other aspects of your dog’s health, it is important to ensure that it has good dental health through annual exams. Since dogs won’t remain still to have their teeth cleaned, general anesthesia is recommended for any dental procedure. It is safest for both your dog and the veterinarian for your dog to have tooth scaling, cleaning, x-rays, or tooth extractions while under general anesthesia. The veterinarian will have the opportunity to check for potential problems using radiographs that might not otherwise be visible. The following information will let you know how often you should schedule your Fort Lauderdale dog teeth cleaning.
The Importance of Fort Lauderdale Dog Teeth Cleaning
Dogs can develop periodontal disease because of plaque buildup. Plaque can build up in your dog’s mouth because of an accumulation of debris that can form on the teeth soon after eating. Plaque buildup can cause inflammation of the gums, leading to the destruction of tissue and bone. Dogs are five times likelier to develop periodontal disease than humans. Among dogs that are older than three years, 80% will develop periodontal disease. Untreated periodontal disease can result in bleeding gums, mouth pain, loosened teeth, and potentially dangerous systemic infections.
Frequency of Teeth Cleaning for Dogs
The frequency of teeth cleaning for dogs depends on multiple factors that are described below.
Your Dog’s Age
If your dog is older, it will likely require more frequent dental care than a younger dog. This is because their diet, eating habits, and the passage of time can cause tooth decay. If your dog is older than seven years, you should make sure to schedule annual teeth cleanings along with your dog’s annual physical examination.
Your Dog’s Size and Breed
In most cases, large dogs will not need teeth cleaning until they reach seven years of age. By contrast, small dogs and toy breeds might require dental cleanings as soon as they are two years old. This is because small dogs have large teeth as compared to the sizes of their mouths, which can lead to overcrowding. Some breeds, including Yorkies, also sometimes retain their baby teeth, which also contributes to overcrowding and additional places for tartar to build up.
Other breeds with flat noses and short faces, including Shih Tzus, bulldogs, and pugs, are prone to dental disease since they have a higher risk of deformities in their permanent teeth. Since the tooth roots of small dogs are shallow, they can be more affected by periodontal disease than larger dogs.
Large dogs can still require dental care earlier if they fracture or break their teeth. Your veterinarian can tell you when to schedule a dental appointment for your dog and how frequently it needs care.
Your Dog’s Lifestyle
Your dog’s lifestyle and how you care for its dental health at home can also influence when it will need a dental appointment. If you regularly brush your dog’s teeth, follow a dental diet, or only feed your dog dry kibble, your dog might be able to go longer in between professional teeth cleanings. If your dog primarily eats soft foods and does not chew on toys, it might need to have more frequent teeth cleanings.
What Occurs During Your Dog’s Dental Cleaning?
When you take your dog to your veterinarian, they will first perform a physical examination to make sure your dog is healthy enough for general anesthesia. Depending on your dog’s age and health, your veterinarian might need to perform blood work to ensure your dog’s kidneys and liver can process anesthetics. If your dog is in good health, your dog will be approved for teeth cleaning. During the procedure, your dog will first receive a dose of medicine to help them relax before the general anesthetic is administered by an IV catheter.
During the procedure, the veterinarian will monitor your dog’s vital signs. They will conduct a thorough dental exam and might also take dental x-rays. Once the procedure is completed, your dog will be awakened by your vet and sent to recovery. In most cases, dental procedures will be performed during the morning so that the dogs can return home at the end of the day.
What to Do at Home for Your Dog’s Dental Health
If you can, try brushing your dog’s teeth each day to keep their gums and teeth healthy. There are also products available that can improve your dog’s dental health, including water additives, dental chews, dog toothpaste, and special diets.
Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Animal Hospital
Family Pet Medical Center is Fort Lauderdale’s premier animal hospital and veterinary practice. If you need to find good veterinary services for your dog, including dental care, we can help. Contact us today to request an appointment at (954) 567-2500.