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Life is Short - Smile While Your Still Have Teeth

by Dr Megan Alderson on 2013-06-27 16:30:04

life-is-short-smile-while-your-still-have-teeth

During a routine clinical exam coping with rotten egg aroma breathed, or even worse licked, on to my face has never been my strong point.

Being a dentist’s daughter I hoped I’d inherited the gene to overcome the gag reflex associated with severe halitosis, but sadly not. After a couple of decades as a vet and dealing with poor oral health on a regular basis I now understand just how vital dentistry and keeping your teeth clean is for a healthy, happy life.

Fainting on a holiday job as a chair side assistant whilst removing a full set of human teeth definitely has something to do my aversion to bad breath. As a vet I wonder if humans can’t keep their own mouth healthy then what hope do we have for our furry friends.

Over the years I have identified common obstacles barring the way to decent pet oral health.
Owners don’t think animals feel tooth pain. They have the same neurological system as us so why wouldn’t they? Cavities, abscesses, broken teeth and gum disease hurt like hell – they often just hide pain better.

Dietary options for pets are getting more and more confusing. Many are not designed to help clean teeth and some of our pets are more at risk than others. Cats especially respond well to diets to help clean teeth, while the shape of different dog breeds mouths can make it more difficult for teeth to be kept clean. Over-bites and under-bites mean no natural wolf-like scissor mastication when eating. It also seems the chewing chip has been removed from many breeds who bury their dental treats rather than bite on them.

Teeth brushing is hard. Agreed when it comes to cats. However, 90% of owners can clean their dog’s teeth by following a program which relies on a positive experience focus. This quickly becomes a routine, relaxed, ritual rather than a chore for both pet and owner.

There’s fear of the anaesthesic and the bill which follows. Routine dental work for pets does require a general anaesthetic so will indeed cost more than a quick trip to your dentist. We assess, monitor and treat every individual with careful consideration. In the long run a scale and polish, with a preventative care follow up, will cost a whole lot less than removing teeth in your aging or sick pet and entail a whole lot less risk.

Doggle.TV Watch Dental Disease & How To Clean Your Dogs Teeth

Our mission at The Strand Veterinarian is to provide an environment to nurture, heal and restore the individual animals under our care with you and your pet’s five senses in mind.


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