Juvenile Pet Dental Care

When a pet is young it is the perfect time to begin focusing on dental health and regular tooth brushing. Even though the baby teeth usually fall out in a matter of months, starting brushing early gives pets the important training that makes brushing teeth easier when adult teeth are in and promotes gum health now.

While pets are teething they chew everything. It is not uncommon for delicate baby teeth to be broken from chewing on hard objects. Keep this in mind when selecting toys for your pet. To avoid damaging teeth do not offer your pet cow hooves, ice, bones, Nylabones or other similarly hard objects. If a pet breaks a tooth, it is very important to have him evaluated by a veterinarian as soon as possible because broken teeth are painful and they can easily become infected.

If baby teeth are still present as adult teeth are erupting they can push adult teeth out of proper alignment, causing pain and preventing proper chewing. Retained baby teeth also cause plaque and tartar to accumulate at a faster rate. To prevent problems with adult teeth, baby teeth should be removed as soon as possible if present at the same site with adult teeth to prevent future problems.

At about 8 or 9 months of age, your pet should have all or most of their permanent adult teeth without any baby teeth left. This is the perfect time for an adolescent evaluation and a procedure known as a juvenile prophylaxis. A juvenile prophylaxis involves a light polishing of the teeth and a fluoride treatment.

When adult teeth are still immature, they are better able to “soak up” fluoride, which strengthens teeth, makes them more resistant to infections, and makes teeth less sensitive. In dogs and cats this must be done under anesthesia so that fluoride is not swallowed. Fluoride treatments are beneficial for pets of any age and even more effective in pets under 12 months of age at strengthening the teeth. Fluoride treatment is a part of every dental cleaning at East Lake Veterinary Hospital.

When our pets are adults, most will require at least yearly dental cleanings and oral/dental examinations under anesthesia. Good home care with regular brushing, dental diets or treats, and OraVet can dramatically reduce the occurrence of periodontal disease and other problems and make professional dental cleanings much quicker and less involved.

Additionally, for dogs, your veterinarian may recommend the Porphyromonas “P3” vaccine aids in the prevention of the most common disease causing bacteria in the mouth. Using the P3 vaccine (2 injections given 3 weeks apart, then boosters annually) along with home care and professional cleanings, you will be doing the best for your pet’s oral and overall health. Committed to Comprehensive and Compassionate Care.