Brushing Dogs Teeth: Everything You Need to Know

Brushing Dogs Teeth: Everything You Need to Know

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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Is it Necessary to Brush a Dog’s Teeth?

Yes, brushing dogs teeth is essential for cleaning your dog’s mouth and preventing gum disease and tooth decay. Brushing removes plaque — a sticky film made of bacteria that forms on teeth — before it has time to harden into dog teeth tartar.

Tartar can only be removed by your vet or groomer, who will use special tools to remove it from the tooth’s surface. Once it has hardened, dental work is often required to remove it completely.

Vets Preferred Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs
  • Tasty peanut butter flavor - Your pets will love the taste while ensuring their dental health.
  • Works on all aspects of your pet’s health - Prevents heart, kidney and liver disease by preventing bacteria to enter their bloodstreams.
  • Antibacterial qualities for tartar and plaque prevention - Protect your dog from irreversible gum disease and countless vet visits.

What Can I Brush My Dog’s Teeth With?

For brushing dogs teeth, you can use several things, from dog toothbrushes to baking soda to peanut butter. Dental chews and dental water additives are also excellent alternatives to brushing.

Here are some specific products that can be used for brushing dogs teeth:

Vets Preferred Dog Enzymatic Toothpaste

Vets Preferred Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs

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Summary: This is a natural toothpaste for dogs that helps clean and freshen your dog’s teeth. The toothpaste contains a special blend of ingredients that help safely eliminate plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth. The toothpaste also helps prevent bad breath, making it the perfect dental cleaning kit for dogs and cats.

The toothpaste comes in a squeeze tube that makes it easy to apply directly to your dog’s toothbrush. The tube holds enough paste for multiple applications and can be easily stored in the refrigerator after opening. It also works well as a breath freshener when administered orally.

Pros

  • Natural product that uses enzymes to clean teeth
  • It’s a great idea for dogs that don’t like to have their teeth brushed
  • Contains no animal by-products, artificial colors, or flavors
  • Perfect for dogs with sensitive teeth
  • Made in the USA and available in an attractive packaging

Cons

  • Comes in only one flavor

Review: Dog parents love this toothpaste for brushing dogs teeth. They say it’s great for cleaning teeth, freshening breath, and preventing plaque and tartar buildup on their dog’s teeth.

Coomazy Dog Finger Toothbrush with Food-Grade Silicone

Coomazy Dog Finger Toothbrush with Food-Grade Silicone

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Summary: Coomazy’s is a food-grade silicone brush with soft bristles that are gentle on your dog’s gum line while removing tartar and plaque build-up from their teeth. In combination with dog toothpaste, it helps keep your pet’s breath smelling fresh.

This finger toothbrush is made of 100% food-grade silicone that won’t cause irritation or injury to your pet’s mouth when used correctly. The brush features soft bristles that are effective at removing plaque and tartar build-up from your dog’s teeth while maintaining your dog’s dental health at the same time.

Using this finger toothbrush will help keep your pet’s mouth healthy while improving their overall oral health.

Pros

  • Easy to use for teeth cleaning
  • Gentle on back teeth and gums
  • Works well for small dogs
  • Multiple colors available
  • It can be used multiple times

Cons

  • Bristles aren’t very strong

Review: With a global rating of 4.6 stars out of 5, dog parents love this finger toothbrush! One reviewer said: “Great product, and it works well. My poodle has never had her teeth brushed before, but she loves it now!”

Arm & Hammer for Pets Tartar Control Kit for Dogs

Arm & Hammer for Pets Tartar Control Kit

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Summary: This kit is perfect for maintaining your dog’s oral hygiene. It includes a tartar control toothpaste, a dental scrubber, and a breath freshener. The toothpaste contains baking soda, an excellent natural ingredient for removing plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth.

The tartar control formula helps to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar by fighting bacteria that cause these problems. The dental scrubber removes any remaining plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth after brushing with the Arm & Hammer toothpaste.

This ensures that your doggy gets the most out of its dental care regimen. The breath freshener contains zinc gluconate, xylitol, and mint oil to freshen up your dog’s breath after brushing. This kit causes zero harm to them or their digestive systems.

Pros

  • It prevents and reduces tartar, plaque, and gingivitis
  • Comes with a pleasant minty odor that dogs love
  • Made of organic ingredients that are safe for dogs
  • A complete set to maintain healthy dog teeth and gums
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush

Cons

  • Available in only one flavor

Review: With over 20000 positive reviews on Amazon, pet owners love the Arm & Hammer for Pets Tartar Control, specifically made for dogs. The pet toothpaste contains baking soda, a natural deodorizer that can help keep your dog’s breath fresher for longer. It also helps reduce tartar buildup on your dog’s teeth and improves his quality of life.

What Are the Benefits of Brushing Dogs Teeth?

Brushing dogs teeth is beneficial and prevents dental disease in dogs. Here is a closer look at the pros of dog teeth brushing:

  • Prevents Cavities and Gingivitis. Brushing your dog’s teeth can help prevent cavities and gingivitis and improve their breath. It will also help keep their teeth strong and healthy as they age.
  • Helps Your Dog Feel Better. Brushing your dog’s teeth will make them feel better because it removes plaque and tartar buildup, which can cause bad breath and discomfort within the mouth.
  • Prevents Infections. When plaque builds up around the edges of your dog’s teeth, it can lead to gum disease, which can cause serious infections within your dog’s mouth. This can make them very sick if not appropriately treated by a professional at an emergency veterinary clinic.
  • Stops Bad Breath. Brushing your dog’s teeth will help eliminate bad breath by removing plaque from the surface of their teeth. If you notice bad breath or any changes in their mouth odor, it could be a sign that they have gingivitis or other dental problems that need to be addressed by a vet immediately.

What Happens if You Never Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

Brushing dog teeth is imperative to promote healthy teeth and mouth. Here is what happens if you do not brush your dog’s teeth:

  • Bad Breath (Halitosis). Bad breath is often the first sign that something is wrong with your dog’s mouth. If you notice bad breath, it could also be because they have periodontal disease or other dental issues.
  • Plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance that accumulates on the surface of your dog’s teeth. It comes from food particles, saliva, and bacteria in the mouth. If left untreated, plaque will degenerate into tartar (also known as calculus), leading to gum disease.
  • Tartar. Tartar is highly abrasive, and when it comes into contact with the gums, it causes irritation and inflammation and makes it easier for bacteria to breed in the mouth. If left untreated, this can lead to gum recession, which means that the gums pull away from the tooth roots.
  • Gingivitis & Periodontal Disease. Gingivitis occurs when the gums’ inflammation causes them to become red and swollen. If left untreated, this condition may cause periodontal disease (also known as gum disease). When this happens, it becomes harder for your dog to chew properly due to the loss of bone around their teeth.
  • Tooth Decay. Brushing dogs teeth helps prevent tooth decay by removing plaque that can build up on their teeth and gums. Plaque is made up of food particles, saliva, and bacteria, which creates acid in the mouth that attacks the teeth. This causes cavities over time when not regularly removed by brushing or cleaning between their teeth with a pet toothbrush.

How Often Should a Dog’s Teeth Be Brushed?

Brushing dogs teeth is something you should do every day. This is the easiest way to keep your dog’s mouth healthy. If you cannot brush your dog’s teeth every day, try brushing them every other day until they get used to it.

The best time for brushing dogs teeth is after eating or drinking. This allows you to rinse any food particles out of their mouth before they become stuck between teeth and cause plaque build-up.

You could also consider brushing just before bedtime or when you give them treats so that you don’t have to worry about any food getting stuck in the way of the toothbrush.

Dental disease is a leading cause of death in older dogs and cats, so early prevention is key to keeping your dog healthy for years to come.

Brushing dogs teeth doesn’t need to take very long — just five minutes when you start out and then less as time goes on. The first time, though, it might take longer because you need to get used to the process and figure out how much pressure is too much, etc.

How Do You Brush a Dog’s Teeth?

Brushing dogs teeth is crucial to maintaining the health of its mouth and overall body. So the first thing that you need to do is to get your dog used to having its teeth brushed.

Step 1: Start Early. The older your dog, the harder it becomes to get them accustomed to having their teeth brushed. Ideally, start brushing your dog’s teeth when they are young and still have all their baby teeth. This will make it easier to get used to brushing their teeth because they won’t associate it with anything negative.

Step 2: Make It Fun. If you want your pup to enjoy brushing its teeth, you should make the experience fun. You can do this by using treats or just playing around with them while their mouth is open to associate having their teeth cleaned with something positive.

Step 3: Hold The Tongue Out Of The Way. When you first start brushing your dog’s teeth, it can be difficult because they may not understand what you are trying to do and may try and bite down on the brush or even snap at you out of fear or confusion. To prevent this, you should hold their tongue out of the way while brushing and slowly let go once they have become accustomed to the feeling.

Use a toothbrush designed specifically for dogs or a human toothbrush with soft bristles and small-tooth heads (like children’s brushes). It is important that you use toothpaste formulated for dogs, as human toothpaste will not contain the required amount of fluoride to help prevent cavities.

Step 4: Go Easy. One mistake pet parents make when they first start brushing their dog’s teeth is that they try to brush too hard and fast, causing them pain or even bleeding sometimes.

Step 5: Keep It Up. After brushing your dog’s teeth for the first time, you should continue doing so regularly.