Did you know that it can take less than 36 hours for plaque to hardened into tartar?  Often, this tartar cannot be removed with a brush.  This is why America’s Family Pet Expo suggests you brush your pet’s teeth!

It’s Pet Dental Health Month and brushing your pet’s teeth is an important part of the process in maintaining your pet’s dental health.  It may not sound fun, but it should be done.  So here are some tips to make the process a little easier.

First, make sure you make the experience is as calming and positive as possible for your pet.  Try adding it into the positive part of your pet’s day.  For example, brush its teeth right before you take it for a walk, give it a treat, or have scheduled play time.  This will give your pet something to look forward to after the job is complete.  Also, do not over-restrain your pet.  Keep calm and talk positively to it so that it feels at ease.

Start by dipping your finger into beef bouillon for dogs or tuna water for cats.  Focusing on the gum line (this is where bacteria and food mix and form plaque), gently rub your finger over your pet’s teeth.  Keeping the session short and do not worry if you do not get to all the teeth.  Keep doing the process daily so your pet can get used to it.

Once your pet is used to your finger, it’s time for the next step.  Wrap gauze around your finger and start “brushing” with it. As your pet becomes accustomed to it, increase the range of motion and the pressure.  You should be able to gentry scrub the teeth in a circular motion before moving on to the toothbrush.

Finally, introduce a soft-bristled tooth brush.  You can purchase a toothbrush through your vet or at your local pet store.  If you decide to use a human toothbrush, be sure to get one with extra soft bristles as to not hurt your pet’s gums.  Hold the bristles at a 45 degree angle to the tooth’s surface for the best results.   Again, move in a circular motion and scrub along the gum line.  Eventually add pet toothpaste.  Be sure you do not use human toothpaste as it can cause stomach problems for your pet.

What tips do you have on brushing your pet’s teeth? Visit our Facebook page and let us know!  And if you want to check out an array of pet dental care products, be sure to come to America’s Family Pet Expo April 20-22!