Because dogs do not brush their teeth, and owners prefer to feed their pets with canned and similar soft foods because he or she “wants nothing else to eat,” that soft food with calcium and similar salts in saliva, remains in the deposits on the teeth. In this way, the teeth lose their smoothness and facilitate the further deposition of both calculus and food residue, or plaque.
Big dogs do not have as much tartar problems as little ones, and some breeds certainly have more problems than others – the most popular is Yorkie and similar mixes, followed by Poodles, then Maltese , Pekingese, Shih Tzu, Chihuahuice, …
We all know that food residues on the teeth are an ideal base for the growth of various bacteria.
One of the reasons why this is so is the size of the teeth and their density – in small dogs the teeth are densely compacted and disproportionately large relative to the muzzle, and because of the clean mechanics they are less cleaned, or so-called Intradental space (space between teeth) is practically non-existent. Therefore, food and bacteria are retained there, etc.
Overall, according to some, over half of our dogs over 3 years of age and small breeds / sizes have some form of gum disease. This gum disease is, of course, the result of plaque buildup on the teeth, and the plaque turns into a tartar within a few days. The stone clings firmly to the tooth enamel and begins to irritate the gums, and the gums respond with inflammation called gingivitis. Gingivitis is one of the causes of the breath in our dogs, and is most easily recognized by the fact that the inflamed gums are red rather than light pink.
If the calculus is not removed, it somehow “slides in” under the gums, thus lifting it, creating small “pockets” around the tooth in which bacteria are further deposited and propagated. When and if this happens, the dog may contract periodontitis, which is not only painful, but also has the potential to cause tooth decay and various infections and abscesses in the mouth.
The least tartar builds up on the teeth of dogs that eat so-called biologically adequate raw foods. The key is in the raw raw bones that mechanically remove plaque from the teeth, and the meat contains natural enzymes and does not adhere to the teeth like industrially processed foods.
It may seem to you that dry foods should also have an abrasive effect on the surface of the tooth, and some are even touted to emphasize this function, but in fact, there is nothing better for cleaning teeth than good, old, raw big bone.
Do not give your dog a bone with a lot of marrows because it is quite oily and can cause diarrhea. Never give your dog cooked / baked bones because heat treatment makes them brittle and can pierce the intestines. It is also necessary to give the bones an adequate size and not overdo it to avoid constipation – it is also important not to leave the dog alone with a small piece of bone to avoid drowning, and the same goes for artificial bones
If you are worried about bacteria from raw meat, and this applies to bones that are not completely starved and you want to use bone later because the dog is tired – you can freeze the bone in the hairdresser for a couple of days before serving.
How to identify a problem?
Sometimes, not before the breath comes out – the smell of the dog’s mouth should be neutral, everything else is a result of bacterial activity. In cases of an advanced problem, we may notice that the dog eats to one side, or the food falls out of his mouth, he may whine while yawning, some dogs are scared of the pelvis, and some stop licking. If you notice this behavior, have the dog examined. Also check your gums regularly – they should be gentle, light pink in color, should not bleed, should not be swollen, and a broken tooth is also a reason to visit the vet. The tartar is yellowish-brown and can be greenish, and you will notice it first at the root of the canine. If present, be sure to consult your veterinarian! ”
Should the tartar be removed?
Some dog or cat owners say they have “heard from people” that the tartar should not be touched or removed from the tooth, since it will then collect more on the teeth, and that the existing tartar actually protects the tooth.
This of course has nothing to do with the truth.
Descale and plaque should preferably be removed daily by brushing your pet’s teeth with a brush soaked in salt water or dog toothpaste. There is no need to use human toothpaste unless you can train your pet to spit foam after brushing. Specifically, all toothpastes contain fluoride which is good in preventing caries, but if swallowed regularly it would lead to gastritis. This is not a problem in humans because they can be persuaded not to swallow toothpaste, which is a little more difficult in dogs and cats. They are therefore made with a special fluoride-free toothpaste. But if you don’t have one, a regular brush soaked in salt water will serve.
If your pet has a little more tartar on your teeth and you can’t completely brush it, there are treats and special dried foods to remove tartar from your teeth. If that does not help, then you need to consult a veterinarian who will clean your pet’s teeth with a special ultrasound device.
If home care is used to remove plaque from an early age, all this can be prevented. Also, if a dog has a tartar already formed, you can prevent plaque from still accumulating on your teeth until you have it removed by a vet.
Home care consists of brushing your teeth with a special toothbrush and toothpaste, feeding with special dental snacks or special dental foods. The combination of these three procedures produces the most effective results.
The dog may be given a snack each day, but depending on how long it takes to bite it, you can give it a couple of times or once a week.
Dental snacks, such as DentaStix, contain sodium tripolyphosphate and zinc phosphate, which act to chelate calcium from saliva and prevent further crystallization. So the plaque stays softer for a longer time and the snack will make it easier to remove. Also, prolonged chewing stimulates the secretion of saliva and the flow of saliva makes it possible to flush out any fragments of calculus of the teeth. Studies have shown that administering one Pedigree DentaStix a day reduces the plaque level by an average of about 30%, while the tartar level is reduced in half.
Although daily brushing is still the best way to prevent periodontal disease, it is not always possible for some owners, so there are snacks from various manufacturers. These are DentaStix (which increases its surface area with longer X shape and lasts longer) and Pedigree DentaRask, NutriDent Chew Bone (Gluten Free, with natural breath freshenes with parsley and chlorophyll, with 25 vitamins and minerals and omega fatty acids, and is formulated which massages the dog’s gums, causing comfort and encourages the dog to chew further) and Trixie Dental Fresh (for tartar control). You can find all of these snacks in our store, and we also offer toothbrushes and toothpastes for dogs and special dental foods.