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K-State Today

February 4, 2021

K-State veterinarian shares tips for Pet Dental Health Month

Submitted by Piper Brandt

February is Pet Dental Health Month and the perfect time to learn how to keep up with your pet's pearly — or not so pearly — whites. Douglas Winter, K-State veterinarian and member of the American Veterinary Dental College, has a few dental health tips to share:

• Daily tooth brushing is the gold standard of veterinary dental oral care. When performed properly and regularly, it is the most effective defense against plaque, which is the cause of periodontal disease.

• Tartar control diets can decrease tartar and plaque buildup. These diets contain abrasives and are shaped to remove plaque from the teeth and calcium chelators to decrease dental calculus.

• Soluble dental chews also help mechanically remove plaque and tartar. Always supervise when giving your pet a treat, as there is potential for choking or obstructive hazards with any treat.

• Water additives can help reduce the accumulation of plaque, tartar or both.

• Antiseptic solutions and gels can decrease gingivitis and plaque formation.

"No dental diet, chew item or water additive can replace brushing teeth," Winter said. "Prevention and control of periodontal disease requires both daily home care and regular professional care with dental radiographs."

Lastly, Winter suggests that you always consult your family veterinarian if you have questions about your pet's oral care.