Teeth Care for Dogs
Brushing the Teeth and Gums continued...
Do not use toothpaste made for humans. Its foaming action is unpleasant to
dogs, and they cannot spit and rinse after using it. Swallowing the fluoride in
many human toothpaste is also not good for them.
The gums and teeth can be brushed with a finger or a soft nylon toothbrush
with a 45-degree angle to the head. Toothbrushes designed specifically for dogs
are available at pet supply stores. Finger brushing is done with a terrycloth
washcloth or a piece of gauze wrapped around the finger. Denta Clean, Petrodex,
and DDS all offer finger brushes and/or wipes to clean your dog’s teeth. Apply
the toothpaste to your wrapped finger. Lift the lips to expose the outside
surface of the teeth. Gently rub the teeth and gums in a circular motion. With
a toothbrush, apply the toothpaste, then hold the brush at a 45-degree angle,
parallel to the gums. Brush in small circles, overlapping the teeth and
It is not necessary to open the mouth, as the self-cleaning action of the
tongue will keep the inside surface of the teeth relatively free of calculus.
The most important part to brush is the gingival sulcus, where the gum attaches
to the tooth. Bleeding may occur with vigorous brushing. This indicates gum
disease. Daily brushing should tighten the gums and stop the bleeding in one to