Many people think that dentistry is only about cleaning and “pulling” teeth. Dentistry is really an exciting field of medicine.
Dentists diagnose, prevent and treat diseases of the mouth, jaw, and face.
Knowing how these conditions affect the whole body is also important. Proper dental care is essential to the total health of your dogs and cats.
The Pets Need Dental Care, Too™ National Awareness campaign helps pet owners understand the importance of dental care for their pets. It lays out a simple three-step program:
STEP 1: Take your pet to the veterinarian for a dental exam.
Your pet’s primary doctor looks for signs of disease such as:
- swollen gums
- tooth infections
- sores or tumors in the mouth
- sensitive teeth
STEP 2: Begin a dental care regimen at home.
Remember, a clean mouth is often a healthy mouth. Plus, daily oral hygiene is a great way to bond with your pet. Brushing teeth is a lot easier than it sounds. Cornell Feline Health Center has a helpful video showing how it’s done.
STEP 3: Schedule regular veterinary checkups.
Your veterinarian monitors your pet’s dental health status. At some point, a professional tooth cleaning will be needed.
Any veterinarian may practice dentistry on animals. AAHA has provided guidelines for the practice of dentistry by veterinarians.
Often general veterinarians will be able to provide services related to general oral health. They might also have the skills and equipment needed for managing uncomplicated cases of oral disease.