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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 gums.

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 two weeks.


WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"


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