How many times per year does your dog get a dental?

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by Cali Mae, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. Cali Mae

    Cali Mae Little dog, big voice

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    Cali got her first dental this past summer, and I'm starting to wonder if perhaps a twice annual dental is what would work best for her.

    I'll be honest and say that, in the past, I have often forgetten to brush her teeth. Antlers/chews/etc are what I mainly rely on to keep her teeth clean because a) it's no fuss and b) they do a good job when she receives them on a regular basis. I've been brushing her teeth every couple days now and they are getting cleaner, but since she's a toy breed, I'm always extra worried about her dental health.

    There is a bit of plaque around the gumline but not an overwhelming amount. I'm hoping to possibly get down to Global Pet Foods next weekend to see if they finally have beef tracheas in stock, since they seem to have the most substantial benefit, plus they last a few weeks... but I'm pondering the idea of another dental cleaning in December if I don't see any satisfactory improvement. I hate the idea of putting her under, but I know the vets take excellent care of her and I know the vet techs give her plenty of cuddles afterwards.

    Also, does anyone have any tips on getting Cali's cooperation with a tooth brush? I can get it done, but it's a huge struggle. She's fine with me touching her teeth up until she sees the toothbrush, and it's just not a pleasant experience for either of us. We've tried rewarding her, etc but to no avail.
     
  2. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Have you ever tried a finger toothbrush? My dogs seem MUCH more amenable to that than a regular one.

    Ziva goes in for her first dental in the next couple of months, she'll be 7 in March. I probably should have had it done last year, but regardless, it's not something we plan to do annually, let alone twice/year.
     
  3. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I've never had a dog get a dental, they've never needed it.
     
  4. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Mine either. I scale them myself at home if I feel like anyone needs it, or I notice a build up, but I've never taken them into the vets to do it.
     
  5. Keechak

    Keechak Aussie Obssessed

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    None of my dogs have ever had a dental at the vets, I have a scraper that I use if I feel like they have a little grime and they chew a lot as well.
     
  6. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Little dogs are notorious for teeth problems... I know quite a few Yorkies who need dentals every 6-8 months. It's all genetics though, really. There are some who are fine and hardly need them.

    Jackson is 5 and has has two. Both were definitely warranted IMO but I am a stickler for fresh teeth and breath. He had one in November 2011 and another in April 2013. I had really slacked with his teeth between the two which is why he needed another this past April.

    It amazes me how fast plaque and tarter build up on his teeth. If I don't brush for 2-3 days, I notice lots of gunk building up. Most of it can brush off, but yeah if I go over a week w/o brushing, stuff starts to stain.

    I think dental health is so important and beware of non-anesthetic cleanings that a lot of groomers are now doing. Getting above the gumline is what is important and just having white teeth doesn't mean the gums or the rest of the mouth is healthy.

    Anesthesia is really so safe now, and if you use the right protocols (preop bloodwork, safe anesthesia, etc), it should be fine. Of course it's always worrisome and I hate doing it, too, but I think a lot of people (and even vets) don't care as much about oral health in canines as they should.

    This was this past year... Before:
    [​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]

    (he has a shaved down canine due to overbite if you're wondering lol)

    Some would've said their dogs teeth were fine in the first pic, but whatever *shrugs*

    I try to brush at least 4 nights a week with CET toothpaste. I also use petzlife a few times a week. I have HealthyMouth gel too which seems to work well, but I kind of want to buy the liquid stuff to put in water, or you can put it on top of food. I think I'd be more inclined to use that instead of applying the gel with a q tip which is annoying. But HealthyMouth is the only water additive I'd use or trust. It's been tested and trialed and VOHC approved which is a pretty big deal.

    I originally trained him to come into the bathroom with me every night. At first we did nothing, he just got a treat for coming in the bathroom. Then he would get a treat for smelling or touching the toothbrush. Then I would lift up his lip, but not brush, and give him a treat. We did this for about 2 weeks and then gradually began brushing. He still hates it, but I have to do it, and he knows it, and he always gets a yummy treat like cheese.
     
  7. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    Never. Mackenzy is 8. The others are young so that's no surprise though. They're raw fed and chew on lots of stuff.

    They're also not toy breeds, though. Unfortunately I think toy breeds often have dental issues and build up regardless of care or diet.
     
  8. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    Lucy is 7 and just had her first dental back in March. So far they still look fine with home dental care and I don't think she's ever going to have another dental. Juno is 4.5 and has no tartar buildup, so again I don't foresee that she'll ever need a dental. If you feel her teeth need the help of professional cleaning then by all means do it.

    I brush as often as I remember to - generally a few times a week - and that's pretty much it.

    I agree that a finger brush or a piece of gauze or something might be more tolerable to her.
     
  9. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Meg had her first dental about two years ago; I probably would have put it off longer, but she had a broken tooth that had to come out. She'll probably have another this spring, as she has a tooth that is getting a little loose and will probably need to be out. She's unfortunately got less than stellar teeth (terrible underbite) and she's had some chips and cracks. So as long as she's going under for something else, she gets a cleaning.
     
  10. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    My current dogs have never had a dental cleaning, they are "good" chewers who apparently won the oral health genetic lottery.

    I used to have a greyhound, though. Man, she could have had her teeth cleaned three or four times a year and they would have gotten gross in between no matter what I did. My other previous dogs averaged probably every 2-3 years.

    The only concern with twice a year would be the anesthesia, which honestly in this day and age is a really minimal risk especially if she's done fine with it in the past. For a toy breed who builds up tartar quickly, hand scaling while awake is largely cosmetic but isn't going to address any periodontal disease brewing under the gumline.

    It might help to use something like Oravet if it's available where you are, although you still have to remember to do it, it's only once a week. Or Hill's makes a diet called T/D that is actually quite effective although I don't really recommend using it as the diet but rather just give a couple of pieces before bed as a "treat."
     
  11. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I think there is a lot to be said for genetics, but there is also a lot that can be done as far as home dental routine goes.

    Frodo had his first dental at 5 when he broke a tooth. Now he will have another one at 7 (or he might be 8 by the time his eye heals so we can do surgery), again because of a broken tooth. If I keep up with him on weekly raw bones, brushing twice daily with CET toothpaste, Plaque Off daily and PetzLife gel then I don't think he will need another one ever. But if I stop doing stuff at home, it only takes like a week for buildup to start. I had scheduled his dental and then stopped doing home care because at that point, what is the point? lol and then about a week or two later his eye ulcer happened and we had to scratch his dental. In those two weeks he already had a ton of buildup which I am working diligently on now. It's frustrating.

    Siri started getting buildup at around 6-7 months old and I've just finally figured out what home care routine keeps her teeth pearly white. She gets raw bones, but what really makes the difference is brushing with the CET toothpaste twice daily and using Plaque Off.

    So essentially, both of my dogs have pretty bad buildup issues and would likely need yearly dentals, but I put a lot of $$ and effort into daily home maintenance because I'd prefer to take care of it at home rather than put them under so often.
     
  12. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Yeah, this ^ is pretty much me too. lol.

    I don't really have a "set time" for when I'm going to do a dental on Jackson. Ideally, I'd love to avoid another for a long time. But it's really up to me being really diligent because the genetics are not on his side.
     
  13. krissy

    krissy New Member

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    Absolutely. I recommend Healthy Mouth for all my patients with oral health issues. It's safe, effective, and easy. Biggest problem for dogs with oral health issues is owner compliance. There are some people who are just not willing to, or unable to remember to, brush teeth daily. The water additive is so hassle free for those people. I even use it for my guys so that if I have a random day where I wasn't able to brush their teeth one night I don't have a panic attack about it. Lol
     
  14. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    Never. Buster is 11 and Quinn is 3
     
  15. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Summer has had 3 dentals in her life. I really wish I would have done her last earlier so she didn't lose so many teeth. I feel really bad now because they had to pull quite a few. The only reason I put it off was because of how poorly she reacted to anesthesia before and how close I came to losing her during something very routine..

    Mia is almost 5 and is nowhere near needing a dental at all. She has a touch of buildup but it is very minor and with brushing, I think it will come off. By that age, Summer had had one dental and was working on needing a second. When I got her at 4 her teeth were really really bad and I think that early teeth issues really caused a lot of her problems. One major problem this last dental was a broken/abscessed tooth and it and the teeth around it had to be pulled.

    Toy breeds definitely can be prone to dental issues but it's still up to the individual. Summer's dentition was MUCH nicer than Mia's (Mia is naturally missing teeth) but her teeth just get buildup much faster. I think if I keep up with Mia's there's a good chance she will never need a dental. I really do think the fact that Summer came to me at 4 already with some gum erosion was a big part of her issue.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  16. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    That would be my concern as well.

    Bailey has had three dentals, she's almost 14 years old. She has needed all three of them despite being a 'good' chewer. She lost the gentic crapshoot on oral health. Her first was just a very routine cleaning, but she was barely 2 years. Her second was because of a fractured PM4. Her third was done because she had the nasal drainage and since she was going under anyways... they found a bad tooth on xray. My mom was really good about oral care right after her dental but Bailey already has build up on the molar underneath the PM4 she's missing. Her gums look fabulous though, so that's something.

    Buzz has never had a dental but has had two teeth extracted.

    Gabby has had one dental and is missing a couple teeth now.
     
  17. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Auggie will be 8 in November and I've decided I'm going to schedule him a dental in February during national pet dental month. Last year they told me he has good teeth "for a sheltie" and he very well could go longer... but I kind of want to get him done now instead of waiting longer and having him be older. If he's eight and doesn't even really NEED it yet, I mean... he could be a very long lived dog... but let's say that takes him to 16, and he might not even HAVE teeth anymore at that point. =P

    I will say stuff like the dental gels and bully sticks and scaling does help the appearance of teeth and the gums, but as pointed out, no surface stains doesn't mean the dog has perfect dental health.
     
  18. Grab

    Grab Active Member

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    Julian was 10 before he ever needed a dental. Newt has to have a yearly dental because she apparently has poor oral health genes. Nog, in spite of his squish face, has wonderfully white teeth

    Only one of our cats has needed a dental
     
  19. AliciaD

    AliciaD On second thought...

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    Neither of my dogs are toy breeds, so I've been thinking that this year will be the year. Unfortunately a quick search hasn't yeilded any vet dentist options in new hampshire where I live. Cam is going on 6 and duncan is 4
     
  20. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Tucker is three and has not had a dental yet, but my parents refuse to brush his teeth (even though he's perfectly happy to have them brushed), my mom says she's not good at it. He builds up plaque pretty fast though and I notice a huge improvement when I'm home and brushing them on a regular basis. I think he'll end up needing a dental when he's older.
     

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