February – Dental Health Month

Halitosis – Fancy word for bad breath!

February is National Dental Health Month, so there’s no better time to look at your pet’s teeth.  Don’t be afraid to lift those lips back, take a good look and a good whiff.  Bad breath usually means dental problems, so look close.  If you see pearly white teeth and nice pink gums, no need to worry.  In fact, pat yourself on the back, because you’re doing a great job caring for your pet’s teeth.  The rest of us are looking at teeth turning brown from tartar buildup and even reddened gums (gingivitis).  If untreated, dental disease is a slippery slope that leads to infection, pain and tooth loss.

Dental Health Month reminds us to keep checking those teeth.  If you’re seeing brown buildup, chances are it’s time to schedule a cleaning.  If you’ve never had a pet’s teeth cleaned, it’s very similar to a human dental cleaning.  We conduct a complete oral and dental exam, clean the teeth with ultrasonic scalers and polishers, and extract the teeth that can’t be saved. The main difference is that your pet is under anesthesia for the procedure.  This is our only way to provide a thorough exam and cleaning, stress and pain free.  When your pet goes home that day, their teeth will be clean and their breath fresh.

Keeping teeth clean at home depends on how willing your pet is.  Your dental ‘tool chest’ should include some combination of dental diet, chews, toys, water additives, and brushing.  Be aware of the magic potions you see on the internet.  Believe it or not, they tend to stretch the truth a bit.

We don’t believe in sales pitches, but I will say that the February schedule fills up quickly with dental cleanings.  Maybe it’s a good time of year, maybe it’s the 15% discount, but we try to accommodate as many people as we can.

Ryan Frome, DVM