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Understand Dental Health

Posted: December 13, 2010, 3:30 p.m., EDT

Terms

Gingival: pertaining to the gums

Chlorhexidine: a bacteriostatic and bactericidal antiseptic

Plaque: a soft, grayish biofilm of bacteria.

Cetylpyridinium chloride: a strong bactericidal resistant to fungi

Tartar: hardened, mineralized plaque

Dual-Enzyme System: activated by saliva to produce Hypothiocyanite ions and eliminate plaque-forming bacteria

Gingivitis: occurs when the gums (gingiva) are inflamed and swollen

Enzyme: a protein (or protein-based molecule) that speeds up a chemical reaction in a living organism

Fluorides: organic and inorganic compounds containing the element fluorine

Brushing Basics

Start when a pet is young (or an adult after a thorough dental cleaning).
 
● Slowly introduce the pet to veterinary dental toothpastes and soft-bristled brushes.

● Brushes should be the appropriate size and shape for a pet’s mouth. Some brushes are made for cats (C.E.T. Cat Toothbrush). If a pet owner doesn’t know what size to use, a veterinarian is the best source of advice.

● Make sure the paste used is veterinarian recommended. Human products can cause more harm than good. Good examples of appropriate toothpastes are C.E.T. Enzymatic and Tartar Control Toothpastes for Dogs and Cats.

● Toothpastes come in multiple flavors, usually beef, chicken, seafood or malt, so they are tasty to a pet and help him look forward to brushing.

● Start by letting a pet taste the toothpaste, then put the toothpaste on a finger or washcloth and run it along the gum line. Finally, use toothpaste on the brush along the gum line.

● Be sure to push the toothpaste into the bristles of the brush to keep the pet from just eating or licking it. The brush needs to be angled under the gums to reach bacteria.

● Using small circles, brush from the back to the front of the mouth. Start with the outer surfaces of the teeth (facing the cheek) and move to inner surfaces (facing the tongue). The outer surfaces of the teeth are where the most plaque and tartar build up, so reaching them is critical.

● The whole process should take only about 30 seconds.

Source: Virbac Animal Health

Read the full article in the January issue of Pet Product News. To read the article, readers must be a subscriber. To subscribe, click here.

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