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A lot of thought is put in keeping your dog healthy: quality food, routine checkups, plenty of fitness etc. But what about their teeth? Oral hygiene is a very important factor in your dog’s overall health, which is very often overlooked. If they have toothache or sore gums, they are dealing with pain and stress that you may not even know about. If the problem is left untreated, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and affect the heart, kidneys or liver. Veterinarians report that an estimated 85% of dogs older than four years are suffering from some form of periodontal disease, a painful oral condition that can lead to tooth loss and infection.

With regular dental cleaning and professional checkups, these problems can be prevented. As with regular grooming, dental care should be something your dog comes to expect every day. It’s best to start with dental care when your dog is still a puppy, since not many older dogs will like the idea of someone poking around in their mouth. If you’ve just realized your adult dog needs some dental attention, it’s still not too late, just take it slow and be patient.

Most experts agree that daily brushing is ideal, but if that’s unrealistic, aim for three to four times per week. If your dog doesn’t accept a toothbrush, you can always use your finger. Simply apply Pet Dent Toothpaste or gel onto the finger or brush and brush your pet’s teeth.

Unfortunately, dogs can’t care for their teeth themselves, but they can help by gnawing on the right product. A good long chew can help scrape away plaque and dirt, and most dogs are happy to comply. Dogs love to eat and crunchy food and chew treats can help with your overall efforts. While these items won’t replace the need to brush, they can help reduce unwanted buildup.

Every hero needs some sparkling pearly whites. Provide your dog with a variety of brushes, toothpaste, oral rinse or oral gel for optimal oral care, leaving you and your dog grinning from ear to ear.