Dogs, just like humans, can get cavities. Their teeth should be cleaned at least twice a week. Giving him plenty of hard bones to chew on are other ways to help keep his teeth healthier.
Two common problems dogs with poor dental hygiene have are loose and abscess teeth. Does your dog have bad breath? Studies show that 98% of dogs with bad breath are suffering from periodontal disease, a result of plaque build-up. If left untreated, this can lead to a bacterial infection, which can enter the bloodstream and spread to your dog's kidney, liver, heart and even its brain. Chances are if your dog has very bad breath, there is a problem with his teeth.
There are many wonderful brands and types of toothpaste for humans. Why can't we use them on our dogs? Because dogs do not spit, and human toothpaste is not edible. Your dog will most definitely swallow whatever you use to clean his teeth. You can purchase an edible toothpaste, just for dogs, at the pet store. There are many flavors available. Try to find one that your dog likes; your dog will be more likely to let you brush his teeth. A nice beefy brushing will be a tasty treat for your dog. If your dog squirms when you try to brush his teeth you may need a helper to get the job done.
Cleaning your dog’s teeth is not as hard as it sounds if you have the right supplies.
You will need doggie toothpaste, and either a toothbrush, a nubby-surfaced rubber cap, a wash cloth or a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger.
Close-up of nubby-surfaced rubber cap that fits over your finger
Position yourself and your dog so that you can access the dog’s teeth comfortably. Lift your dog’s upper lips and begin to brush in a circular motion, much like you would brush your own teeth. Be sure to brush where the tooth meets the gum-line. Don't forget to get the very back teeth, since this is where your dog is most likely to develop problems. When you are finished the top, move on to the bottom.
Check your dog’s teeth every time you groom him.
Brush your dog’s teeth at least two times a week and have your dog’s teeth checked once a year by your veterinarian.
If your dog’s teeth have significant tarter build-up, they need to be cleaned. This is usually done with anesthesia. The picture above is a senior extra large breed dog.
Not all dogs need anesthesia. Some dogs will allow their teeth to be cleaned while they are awake, like this mellow, calm 12 year old Great Pyrenees.
After on a senior extra large breed dog
Chewing on a hard toy or bone can scrape away tarter and help prevent periodontal disease and other infections and gum diseases.