Last month was National Pet Dental Health month and to celebrate this important focus on our pets' mouths, we offered a free dental health check in February, for all pets that needed one. At The Finchley Vet, we are tremendous advocates and supporters of pet dentistry. We treat a lot of infected and painful pet mouths, returning them to health and comfort. However, even we learnt some things over the month:
5 interesting facts about pet dental health
1) We know that brushing a dog or cat's teeth is the best way to reduce the build up of plaque, tartar and bacteria that lead to gum and bone decay, however, we learnt that you only get the full affect of brushing if it is done at least 5 days per week (once per day is fine though!!)
2) Hard food does not clean teeth very well. Hard food shatters on the tips of the teeth of dogs and cats, cleaning only the very tip. It does not help very much where it is really needed (near and below the gum line).
3) Most water additives for keeping teeth clean have little proven effect. There are those that have been proven to work though - just ask us.
4) A build up of a lot of tartar and gum inflammation in dogs (and maybe in cats) has been associated with an increased chance of certain heart and kidney diseases.
5) Dogs have 42 teeth, compared with us humans who only have 32 teeth! Cats have even less at 30 teeth - amazing how good they are at catching mice then!!
It was great to see so many pets for dental checks. Dental health is very important so for any advice, please do not hesitate to contact us or make an appointment.