10 Reasons You Should Take Care of Your Pet’s Teeth

Celebrating Veterinary Dental Health Month in Des Moines

Animal Dental Care – Dentistry for Dogs and Cats
by Dr Nancy Peterson Ingersoll Animal Hospital Des Moines, Iowa

February is National Pet Dental Health Month! To celebrate, we’ve put together some of our top reasons caring for your pet’s teeth is so important.

  1. Better Breath A pet with clean teeth and a healthy mouth is a pet with better teeth and better breath.
  2. Problems in body. Dental disease and infection in the mouth can lead to problems in your pet’s organs and body such as the heart or kidneys.
  3. Regular dental care needed. You need regular dental care and you brush your teeth everyday- why shouldn’t your pets? Watch these videos from our vets with tips on how to brush your dog’s and cat’s teeth.
  4. Retained baby teeth. Retained baby teeth is a problem. “Extra teeth” are not cool and can cause crowding and displacement of the emerging adult teeth. This can cause gum irritation, plaque buildup and a painful mouth.
  5. Pain. Your dog and cat are very good at hiding pain, they have had many thousands of years to learn to disguise pain so they don’t show weakness and become prey. You may not know that your pet has pain until it is very advanced; this is another reason that it is important to take your pet in routinely for veterinary dental exams.
  6. Saving money. Caring for your pet’s teeth can help prevent other health problems; saving you significant money in the long term!
  7. Serious health problems. Pets that don’t get dental care can develop dental infection and abscesses and painfully lose their teeth-this can be terribly painful and can cause serious health problems.
  8. Fractured teeth. Pets love to chew and can be very tough on their teeth. Teeth can wear down or break. Learn the symptoms seen with painful worn or fractured teeth such as decreased appetite or dropping food when eating.
  9. Dental disease is preventable. One of the most common problems Des Moines veterinarians see affecting dogs and cats is dental disease with 70-80% of our pets having dental disease by age 3. It is also one of the most preventable diseases affecting our pets.
  10. Happier and healthier. Pet’s with a pain-free healthy mouth are more comfortable and happier pets. And smell better when they lick you in the face!

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