Dentist Day

According to the crazy calendar, Today is Dentist’s Day.  A day to think about those healthcare professionals who take care of our teeth.  According to some info that I found, veterinary dentistry has been recognized as a specialty field for over 20 years.  Just as in humans, good oral health is important in us dogs. I read a statistic that said by the age of 4, 80% of dogs may show signs of periodontal disease.  Signs include gingivitis, bad breath, difficulty or a reluctance to eat, extra drooling or even nasal discharge or sneezing.  If you see these signs, we should definitely be seen by a veterinary dentist or at least our regular veterinarian.  While we dogs do not tend to get cavities, like humans do, periodontal disease can ultimately result in other kinds of health problems from the spread of bacteria to our hearts, liver, kidneys or lungs.

Besides a cleaning by a dentist or veterinarian, there are ways you can practice good oral hygiene at home. Regular brushing is one way.  It’s advisable to start doing it when we are puppies, so we get used to it.  There are even toothpastes designed for us dogs.
Another way to keep teeth clean is by chewing bones or synthetic bones designed to be tough.  As long as we don’t swallow big pieces.  Also be careful that our chew options are not TOO hard – which can result in broken teeth.  Like Einstein’s broken canine tooth.  If you feed prepared foods, dry kibble is better than soft food.  
Today, canine dentistry can include everything from crowns to braces.  Braces are not typically used for cosmetic purposes – but rather because a dogs crooked teeth are causing a problem resulting in pain or difficulties eating.
By the time my human’s first dog Barney, the multi-breed terrier cross went to the Rainbow Bridge at 17.5, my human thinks he only had about 6 teeth left ( out of our normal 42!). He needed LOTS of dental work over the years – and that seems to be the case with certain dogs.  The good news – “The Biter’s” bite was not quite as threatening as he got on in years!  
So smile and give a wag to a Dentist today. 
Have a good one!
Peace and paws up!
Seizure-free days: 8

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