When Should Dogs Start Dental Cleaning?

Your pet's dental care is an essential part of their overall well-being. Veterinarians recommend annual examinations to ensure that your dog is in good health. Dental disease is a common problem among dogs, with most pets developing periodontitis by three years. 

Failing to take care of your dog's dental health can result in long-term health complications. Checkups and dental cleaning at Magnolia Animal Dentistry will allow the veterinarian to check your pet's teeth, mouth, gums, and oral cavity. It is helpful to find out when dogs should start dental cleaning. 

Why Dogs Need Dental Cleaning

Poor oral hygiene will result in bad breath, infection, pain, and poor health. It is essential to remove plaque regularly from the dog's teeth and gums. If not removed, the plaque can harden into tartar. Plaque and tartar can irritate the gums, resulting in infection. 

As the condition worsens, the dog experiences pain, gum separation, abscesses, loss of bone, and loose teeth. The bacteria that begin in the mouth can get into the bloodstream, damaging the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs. 

Signs That Your Dog Needs Dental Cleaning

Some signs indicate your pet needs a dental cleaning. They include:

  • Discolored teeth

  • Bad breath

  • Bleeding or discolored gums

  • Excessive drooling

  • Loose or missing teeth

  • Poor appetite

  • Nasal discharge

  • Sneezing

It is vital to schedule a professional dental cleaning if you notice any signs. After inspecting the mouth, the vet may recommend cleaning. 

What Dental Cleaning Entails 

Before dental cleaning, the vet will assess the dog's overall physical condition. They then perform dental cleaning under general anesthesia. It helps ensure that the pet is comfortable and safe during the procedure. The vet or technician will scale the teeth surfaces, removing all the plaque and tartar. 

The vet will also clean under the gumline to reduce gingivitis or gum inflammation. After scaling, they will polish the teeth to reduce new plaque development. The vet may use fluoride and other products to treat the teeth. Dental X-rays help assess the underlying structures. 

Regular Home Dental Cleaning 

It is essential to practice regular dental cleaning at home. There are ways to keep your dog's teeth healthy and clean. Brush your dog's teeth every day using a soft-bristled pet toothbrush and pet-friendly toothpaste. You can use a finger toothbrush. It will help prevent the buildup of plaque.

Water additives can help rid bacteria and keep the mouth healthy. Dental chews, chew toys, and dental treats can trick your pet into cleaning their teeth. Dental sprays can keep your dog's breath fresh. 

When to Start Dog Dental Cleaning 

Most dogs require checkups, dental cleaning, and X-rays annually. Veterinarians recommend starting at around six months old. Some dog breeds will require more frequent dental care. How often your dog requires dental cleaning will depend on their age, breed, size, and lifestyle or home oral habits. 

How often you clean your dog's teeth at home will determine how frequently they will require professional dental cleaning. The diet you feed your dog will affect their oral health. Talk to your veterinarian about a dental diet and treats that will scrub the teeth. 

For more on dogs' dental cleaning, visit Magnolia Animal Dentistry at our office in Portland, Oregon, or Vancouver, Washington. You can call (503) 621-9107 or (360) 859-3790 today to schedule an appointment.