Teeth and gum health is an integral component of your dog’s overall wellness, and regular dental hygiene such as brushing is an effective first step. Paying close attention to what you feed your pup can have even greater effects; feeding low carb diets with lots of prebiotics and probiotics may support their salivary enzymes that break down plaque and tartar; also adding prebiotics can support their microbiome levels for maximum effect.
An effective dental care routine for dogs includes daily tooth brushing with pet-specific toothpaste (do not use human toothpaste; it could be toxic to them), though this may prove challenging with smaller breeds or those that dislike having their mouth touched. Plaque build-up in dogs is best prevented with regular brushing of gum lines and teeth; you may also use dental chews to help reduce it – just make sure they’re the appropriate size as choking hazards may result if their chew is too small! Special chew toys and treats, like pig’s ears and rawhide bones, may help dislodge plaque and spread protective saliva more effectively; however, brushing remains necessary. Finally, some pet foods have been designed as “dental diets”, designed to mechanically and chemically assist in plaque removal; additionally water additives with enzymes capable of breaking down tartar build-up can be added directly into drinking water for your pup.
Professional veterinary dental cleaning under anesthesia may also be an option, and will include a complete oral exam with intraoral radiographs, full mouth charting and periodontal treatment above and below the gumline. Be sure to schedule these appointments annually, and inform your veterinarian of any home products, chews or toys which claim to improve dental health.
Studies have also demonstrated that probiotics applied directly to the gums can significantly decrease inflammation and bad bacteria that contribute to poor dental health in dogs. Applying just a few drops of gel, liquid or powdered probiotics daily could make an enormous difference to his dental wellbeing.
Remember, regardless of all the hype, regular brushing and diet are still key to keeping your pup’s teeth and gums healthy, which in turn will enhance overall health. Your pup’s mouth serves as the gateway into their entire system; when its health deteriorates it affects all other systems as well. By following a comprehensive dental care routine incorporating species-appropriate diet, chews toys, mouth rinses/water additives/probiotics application and probiotic supplements into his daily regimen you can dramatically enhance his dental wellbeing resulting in happier, healthier dogs overall!