You probably know that your dog’s dental health is important to their overall good health. But do you know the best ways to take care of your dog’s teeth? If you think that the solution to clean canine teeth is dry dog food, you may be risking your pet’s good dental health. Despite the fact that many dry dog foods make claims that they can whiten your dog’s teeth and remove plaque, there are a few reasons why this solution isn’t as good as it seems.
Dry Food Won’t Remove Plaque at the Gum Line
When your dog is crunching away on dry dog food, it’s true that the process may be helping to remove some of the plaque at the tops of the teeth, but that benefit doesn’t reach the dog’s gum line. And that’s where plaque can do the most damage.
Left alone, plaque can harden and eventually become tartar, a hard substance that requires a dentist’s tools to scrape off. Tartar along the gum line can in turn lead to gum diseases like periodontitis and gingivitis. These diseases can cause bad breath, tooth pain, and swollen gums. They can also lead to tooth loss.
Dry Food May Create More Plaque
The other problem with dry dog food is that it may actually contribute to more plaque forming on the teeth. That’s because dry dog foods often contain a high percentage of refined carbohydrates. These carbohydrates hang around on the teeth and attract bacteria that live in the mouth and consume the carbohydrates, producing certain acids. Those acids form into plaque. The more carbohydrates your dog consumes, the more plaque your dog’s teeth are likely to develop.
The bottom line is that while dry dog food may be a healthy choice for your dog for other reasons, you shouldn’t choose it based on the idea that it has a dental benefit for your dog.
What Does Get Rid of Plaque?
If you want a food item that will help prevent plaque formation and remove existing plaque, give your dog raw, meaty poultry bones. The bones are abrasive enough to help scrape the plaque from the teeth, and flexible enough to reach the areas that dry dog food won’t reach. They’re also safe for your dog to digest. Just avoid cooked bones, because they can splinter.
But the best way to remove plaque doesn’t involve food at all. Your dentist would never recommend that you stop brushing and trust your teeth to a certain type of food, right? The same is true for your dog. A soft tooth brush and toothpaste is the best defense against plaque for your dog’s teeth. You can make tooth brushing more palatable for your dog by picking up food-flavored toothpaste made with canines in mind.
A veterinary dentist like one from Kenmore Veterinary Hospital that specializes in dog teeth can help you nail down a home tooth care routine that works for you and your pet.Read More