The team at Single Use Dental Instruments are strong believers that everyone who needs dental treatment should be able to receive it. Whilst our instrument donations help provide care to people across the world, we do our bit to make sure our furry friends get the help they need too.
Read on to find out how Charley got his smile back in time for Christmas and receive RSPCA insider tips on pet dental care.
We all hate the feeling of fuzzy teeth in the morning. Imagine how our pets feel since they can’t brush their teeth!
Charley, a 4 and a half-year-old King Charles Cavalier, came to RSPCA Queensland looking for a new home. A routine check-up found he had a dental score of just 2 and a fractured tooth.
Why is dental care important for your pet?
It only takes a few days for a healthy tooth to build up with plaque that then forms tartar. This can then progress to ulceration and loose teeth. Dental disease can also lead to life-threatening illnesses such as kidney or heart failure if it’s not identified early and treated by a vet.
When does dental disease occur in my pet?
Usually, older dogs (3 years and above) are diagnosed with dental disease, but it can occur earlier, depending on their diet.
What are the signs that my pet has dental disease?
Dogs and cats that come into the care of RSPCA Queensland are given a dental score based on common signs of dental disease including; bad breath, mouth pain, reduced appetite, difficulty eating, drooling, loss of teeth, pawing at the mouth, bleeding gums and tartar build-up.
To reduce the risk of your pet developing dental disease you can brush your dog’s teeth, provide dog dental treats, attend regular vet appointments and if necessary, a professional clean.
How to brush your pet’s teeth
Brushing your dog’s teeth is crucial in removing plaque and tartar and requires regular attention.
The four main steps below are a guide on how to brush your dog’s teeth.
STEP 1: Introduce a brushing program gradually. Avoid over-restraining them and keep sessions short and positive. A small dog can be held in your lap. Praise and reassure your pet throughout the process.
STEP 2: At first, dip a finger into beef bouillon, this is to give the dog a treat whilst getting them used to fingers in their mouths. Do not do this if your dog is allergic to beef protein. Rub the soaked finger gently over your dog’s mouth and teeth.
STEP 3: Gradually, introduce gauze over the finger and gently scrub the teeth in a circular motion.
STEP 4: Finally, you can introduce a soft toothbrush. Use a sensitive or ultra-soft brush designed for people or a brush designed for pets. Special pet toothbrushes and toothpaste are available from your veterinarian or speciality pet store. Don’t use toothpaste designed for people as it could upset your dog’s stomach.
How dog dental treats and diets can help
Treating your dog with a raw bone, once or twice a week will minimise the risk of dental disease and keep your pet busy as well. All bones must be raw and uncut, as cut bones often get caught between the teeth and cause slab fractures.
Incorporating dental pet food into your dog’s daily routine is clinically proven to reduce plaque and bacteria. Providing oral health dry food allows the dog to chew and scrub off bacterial plaque, whilst also stimulating the gums.
Regular vet appointments
All pets should have a regular dental check-up to examine teeth and if necessary, a professional clean.
What happens when your pet gets their teeth cleaned by a vet?
Dental work for our pets is very similar to a normal dental appointment. Unfortunately, pets like Charley won’t sit still and say ‘Ahh’ while undergoing a cleaning, so general anaesthesia is necessary. This way the technician can complete a thorough dental clean and oral examination.
The technician begins by rinsing the mouth and doing a general inspection. Next, the dental plaque and tartar are removed using hand tools and the ultrasonic scaler. Finally, (if no further work is required), the teeth are polished using a special paste.
To help improve his dental health, Charley had his cracked tooth removed to prevent infection and pain as well as a complete scale and polish. The work was performed by the team at the RSPCA Queensland, using tools provided by Single Use Dental Instruments. Through this treatment, they improved his breath, long term health and restored his beautiful smile!
The day after his treatment, Charley was adopted by a loving family. His healthy smile already working wonders for him!
The RSPCA provides an incredible service to animals both domestic and wild throughout Australia. If you would like to know more, are interested in adoption, volunteering or donating, check out their website here: https://www.rspca.org.au/
If you would like to find out more about the charities and organisations we work with, you can view these on our Charities page.