Top Tips To Take Care of Your Pet’s Teeth

At my dental office in Boerne, we’re dedicated to caring for our neighbors’ smiles no matter what their needs may be. However, we’re limited to seeing only our human neighbors. But that doesn’t mean we can’t provide our animal-loving patients with a few pointers on dental care for their pets.

Brush Their Teeth

Dental care for pets like dogs and cats isn’t that much different than the dental care we recommend for people. While it may sound silly, brushing your pet’s teeth is just as important as brushing your own. But how do you do it? Start by taking a clean piece of gauze or a toothbrush designed for your animal and some pet-friendly toothpaste (don’t use the human kind). Then gently scrub your pet’s teeth in small circles. Repeat this two or three times a week. This practice can go a long way in fighting tartar and plaque buildup. We also recommended your pet receives a professional, in-depth cleaning at the vet once a year.

Select a Healthy Diet

A proper, healthy diet can help keep your pet’s teeth and overall oral health in good shape. There’s specially formulated food that will help control plaque and tartar formation. Your vet can recommend something that’s best for you. When it comes to snacks, avoid table scraps and choose healthy treats instead.

Know the Signs of a Problem

Just like humans, sometimes our furry loved ones can succumb to an oral health problem. But since these members of our families can’t talk and tell us when they’re in pain, there are signs and symptoms all pet owners should know. Some signs of a dental concern can include:

  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Bleeding

If you notice any of these symptoms, call your vet as soon as possible.

Dental care for pets is very similar to dental care for you, with a few small differences. For your own oral health, remember to brush regularly (twice a day though, not twice a week like your pet), floss daily, and visit my Boerne dental office at least twice a year. If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen a dentist, give us a call today!

Serving patients from Boerne, Fair Oaks, The Dominion and beyond. 

4 Types of Mouthwash

The oral care aisle at your local supermarket is flooded with a rainbow of mouthwash choices and flavors. But what do they all mean? Can there be a right mouthwash for each individual need? At my dental office in Boerne, we think so, and we’re here to explain several options available so you can choose the right one for you.

  • Antiseptic Mouthwash

The all-important element in antiseptic mouthwashes is chlorhexidine gluconate — which is a super-technical, scientific way of naming a bacteria killing ingredient. Because of its ability to stop the growth of bacteria, antiseptic mouthwash can be appropriate for people who are suffering from an oral infection. This type of mouthwash can also be used to combat bad breath. A word of caution: overuse of an antiseptic mouthwash may cause tooth discoloration.

  • Fluoride Mouthwash

Fluoride mouthwash contains sodium fluoride, which is what dentists use to help build strong teeth and protect enamel from decay. Some people don’t need additional fluoride if they receive enough from their water or toothpaste, however, some individuals may benefit from the extra protection. A word of caution: fluoride mouthwash is not recommended for children under six.

  • Cosmetic Mouthwash

Cosmetic mouthwashes don’t really pack the same punch as the other choices, but they can still be beneficial. This type of mouthwash is mostly used to give people that extra burst of fresh breath, but doesn’t really do much against fighting decay, strengthening tooth enamel, or protecting teeth.  A word of caution: mouthwash that contains alcohol may dry out the mouth and cause more dental problems.

  • Natural Mouthwash

If you’re looking for a more natural choice, there are some options that are free of fluoride and alcohol. The most common natural mouthwash comes in the form of warm water and salt. This concoction can reduce inflammation, ease gum bleeding, and fight against bacteria. A word of caution: don’t swallow the saltwater, just swish.

No matter which mouthwash may be the best for your dental needs, it’s important to remember that it’s not a replacement to brushing and flossing everyday, and seeing your dentist in Boerne at least twice a year.

If you have questions about which mouthwash to choose, or it’s time for your dental checkup, call my Boerne dental office to schedule an appointment today.

Serving patients from Boerne, Fair Oaks, The Dominion and beyond.