Wow, look at all those teeth. They are sooooo white! What can pet owners do to help their pets have beautiful teeth like these?

The first step is to provide tooth care to your pet, from the day they arrive. This isn’t just because the teeth look good. It is also because we now know that the overall wellness of your pet is directly linked to the health of their mouth and teeth. Which means that actively brushing your pet’s teeth will play a role in determining the quality of your pets life.

Here’s what you can expect from the puppy and kitten care visits in the first 6 months.

 8 – 10 weeks

Puppies have 28 primary teeth while kittens have 26. These should all be present by 12 weeks.

  • Check for tongue abnormalities.
  • Check for palate abnormalities[eg cleft palate]
  • Check for malocclusions eg are the teeth and jaws lining up.
  • Start rubbing the gums and looking in the mouth.

12-14 week visit

  • Your pet should have all the primary teeth by now [count them!]
  • The vet will check to ensure that the teeth and jaws lining up. If not, we may recommend treatment now to prevent bigger issues to come if left.
  • Check for broken teeth- if so these may need removal.
  • Continue to rub all gum surfaces and to desensitize pet to oral examinations.

16-18 weeks

  • All adult teeth should be coming in by now.
  • Are all the primary teeth in? If not, then these may be delayed and need surgical help.
  • Are there any broken teeth.
  • Continue to rub gums but now with Oral Gel or Dentifrice to help control the gingivitis associated with the eruption of the teeth.

20-22 week visit

  • Are there persistent primary teeth? i.e. are there two teeth in one spot. If so, the primary tooth will need to be surgically removed.
  • Check for broken teeth.

At time of sterilization [most often about 6 months of age]:

(We recommend you have a formal oral examination prior to surgery to allow treatment planning for the day of surgery)

  • count the permanent teeth. If there are any missing, these areas need to be radiographed to determine if tooth is unerupted and will need surgical help.
  • if there are persistent primary teeth, then these MUST be removed surgically.
  • if there is crowding of teeth or interference of teeth, then interventive care should be instituted to correct this and prevent further disease.
  • are the molars showing pits and fissures that need to be sealed?

Here are some references to get you going.

A wonderful video on how to brush your cats teeth!
A great overview of pets dental care needs
A great video on how to brush your dogs teeth and more!