Dr. Gentry’s 10 Steps to Keep Your Canine’s Canines Healthy and Clean
1. Use a specially designed dog toothbrush and pet toothpaste. Never, never, use human toothpaste – it’s not meant to be swallowed and will irritate your dog’s stomach.
2. Gently introduce the toothpaste by allowing your dog to lick it off your finger.
3. Use your finger to rub the toothpaste around the outside of the teeth and gums. Avoid the inside surface so you aren’t bitten.
4. Brush daily at a relaxed time in a location with plenty of light.
5. Start brushing the front teeth and work back moving the brush in a circular motion.
6. Lift the lip so you can see better.
7. Reward with praise, petting, and make it a fun experience. It’s okay to give treats too.
8. Give dental chews and treats specifically designed to remove plaque and tartar.
9. Avoid table scraps and sweets, they will cause plaque build-up, decay, and gum disease.
10. Don’t forget – the sweetener, Xylitol, is toxic to dogs!
Don’t get stressed out about getting all of your dog’s teeth. Start with 10 seconds on his/her front teeth, and work your way up to one minute brushing all of his/her teeth. Have fun!
Dr. Philip A. Gentry, DDS
Fellow, Academy of General Dentistry
Dean’s Faculty, Clinical Assistant Professor,
Advanced Education in General Dentistry,
Department of General Dentistry,
University of Maryland School of Dentistry