February is Dental Month

This February the entire team at Golf Glen Veterinary Clinic are excited to focus on your pet’s dental health. Did you know that tooth and gum disease can cause pain, trouble eating, bad breath, and even bacteria going into the bloodstream which can affect the heart and kidneys? We want to help you protect and maintain your pet’s good health, and a healthy mouth is a great start.

When does my pet need to have a dental cleaning?
When you notice yellow or brown build up (plaque and tartar), it is time for a professional cleaning. How often your cat or dog requires a cleaning depends on a number of factors, including diet and your ability to brush your pet’s teeth. If you cannot brush the teeth, your pet would benefit from annual teeth cleaning.
Can I just scrape the tartar off myself?
Dental disease occurs above and below the gum line. To fully address dental disease, it is important to remove plaque above and below the gum line.
What happens when I bring my pet to have his/her teeth cleaned?
We perform a physical exam and any necessary blood tests prior to administering anesthetic medications. After anesthesia, an oral exam is performed and tartar/plaque are removed above and below the gum line. The teeth are polished, the mouth is rinsed, and chlorhexidine antibiotic rinse is applied. You will be given a home treatment plan, including tooth brush, paste, and special diet, when appropriate.
Why do you need anesthesia to clean my pet’s mouth?
Anesthesia ensures your pet is comfortable and pain free, is not moving, and also it protects the airway – a tube in the windpipe prevents bacteria and saliva from entering the lungs.
How safe is anesthesia?
We take great care to provide anesthesia that is as safe as possible. Dogs and cats are offered pre-operative blood tests to look for underlying diseases, and pets are monitored while under anesthetic using similar equipment to what is used in human hospitals.
How much does it cost?
Please call the clinic for a detailed estimate.
What about broken teeth?
A fractured tooth presents us with two options – extraction or referral to a veterinary dentist for a root canal. Leaving it in place is painful and a potential source of infection.
Are food and toys important?
Hard foods, especially dental diets, will help control plaque better than canned or soft foods, but daily brushing is the best way to promote a healthy mouth. Do not let your pet chew on toys that you would not want someone to hit you on the knee with! Hard toys, such as cow hooves, or playing tug of war can create broken teeth. Abrasive toys such as tennis balls can wear away at the protective outer layer of the tooth (enamel).
Brushing my pet’s teeth – really?
Daily brushing is the best thing you can do to minimize plaque and tartar build up and promote good breath and a healthy mouth. Talk to one of our helpful staff at (905) 727-3003 for tips on getting started.

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