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How to Clean Your Dog's Teeth

Updated: Sep 25, 2018

Our 10 Steps and tips To Cleaning Dog Teeth

1. Find the time

Chose a time when your dog is calm and relaxed and make it part of your daily routine with them, then gradually build up frequency. It is a good idea to start this as a puppy to get your dog familiar with being touched around their muzzle and familiar with a toothbrush.

2. Get a brush

A kid’s toothbrush is the recommended size for dogs over 10kg, and a finger brush for smaller dog breeds or you can buy a specific dog toothbrush. Buy a flavoured dog friendly toothpaste. Don’t use human toothpaste in your dog’s mouth.

3. Be prepared

Make sure your dog is comfortable and try kneeling or sitting in front or to the side of them. Try to avoid holding them down, as this can be intimidating and make your dog anxious. This may take multiple attempts. If your dog is showing signs of stress or discomfort then we recommend speaking with The Vet’s here at Orange Vet Hospital about how to go about it.

4. Practice

Get your dog used to lifting up their top lip. Do this without the brush, then apply mild pressure with your finger on your dog’s gums to get them used to the pressure. Rub your finger along the gum line on both sides and both upper and lower jaw of your dog.

5. Taste Testing

If you use a dog friendly toothpaste, give your dog a sample to get them use to the taste and texture. Give this as a reward to as positive reinforcement.

6. Brushing

Once your dog is comfortable with the prior steps we have discussed, you can use a toothbrush. Angle the bristles so they reach the gum line. Placing them at a 45-degree angle will help the bristles massage the gum line and help to clear away any plaque.

7. Round and round

Brush in a circular motion on their gum line, cleaning the outer surfaces of the teeth and gums. Brush each tooth for 2 seconds, remembering to give your dog a break regularly as you do all their teeth.

8. Inside and out

Once your dog is comfortable you can increase the duration to 5 minutes a day as a maximum, the frequency of brushing (daily if possible) and begin to brush the inside of the teeth.

9. Encouragement

To ensure this is a positive experience, keep the mood light while you're brushing your dog's teeth. Talk to them throughout your daily brushing. Use encouraging words like ‘good dog’ and give lots of pats. Finish brushing by giving your dog their favourite treats.

10. Ongoing Dog Care

Dental care for your dig doesn’t finish here, arrange annual check-ups with our recommended vets here at Orange Veterinary Hospital for an oral exam and dental cleaning. We also recommend using specially designed dog food that helps cleans your dog’s teeth such as Dental Chews.

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