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Dental Care


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Dental Care for Your Pet

Puppies and kittens are born with deciduous, or baby teeth, these teeth tend to be very sharp and fragile. Baby teeth begin being replaced with permanent teeth at about 12 weeks of age.  This process begins with the small, front teeth called incisors and will progress around the sides to the premolars. Most of the time owners do not notice when their pets lose the baby teeth because the teeth are either swallowed or lost in the environment. Dogs will have 42 permanent teeth and cats will have 30 permanent teeth.

Your veterinarian should examine your puppy’s or kitten's mouth at every check-up to make sure that the baby teeth are being replaced normally. If an adult tooth comes in and the baby tooth doesn't fall out (a retained deciduous tooth) the deciduous tooth can cause problems for the health of the adult tooth.  Retained deciduous teeth are commonly removed while your puppy or kitten is anesthetized for spay or neuter surgery.

Dental disease is the most commonly diagnosed disorder in veterinary practices in dogs in the United States. Most will have dental disease by the time they are 2 years old. Untreated dental disease can lead to loss of the teeth and cause serious disorders like heart disease or kidney failure. The best way to prevent your dog or cat from developing dental disease as they get older is to formulate a program of dental care that starts when your pet is young. It is important to take care of your pet’s teeth because if teeth are lost or your pet develops dental disease, it not only affects his ability to chew, but can also cause significant health problems in other places in his body. 

Brushing the teeth is the best method that you have for keeping your dog’s teeth bright and shiny. Most puppies and kittens will allow their teeth to be brushed regularly to remove plaque before it turns to tartar. Pet dental kits are available to make teeth brushing easier. Do not use your own toothpaste, because the foaming agent can cause stomach upset in your pet. Many pet owners do not have the time for daily brushing of their dog’s teeth. An alternative to daily brushing would be a treat, like Bright Bites. Bright Bites are pliable and completely dissolvable dental hygiene treats for your dog. As your dog chews on his Bright Bites, plaque is scraped from the surface of his teeth. Removing the plaque before it has a chance to turn to tartar helps keep your dog's teeth clean and the smile bright!

Bright Bites have been evaluated at the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign for their dissolvability.

Give your dog something to smile about and improve his dental hygiene by using Bright Bites.



Please note that this information does not replace professional veterinary care. It is solely for educational purposes. Your pet's medical condition should be evaluated by a veterinarian before any medical decisions are implemented. If there is a potentially life-threatening emergency involving your pet, take your pet to a veterinarian or veterinary facility immediately.


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